The New York Giants finished 6-10 in 2020.
That record allowed them to finish in second place in the NFC East.
It was Coach Joe Judge’s rookie season as an NFL head coach, and given the COVID-19 circumstances that limited in-person practices, he did relatively well.
All of that is past history as the Giants come into 2021 with a very good opportunity to win the NFC East division.
Daniel Jones: "It's a big year for me. It's a big year for everybody." The Giants quarterback feels if you play in the NFL you're expected to perform. pic.twitter.com/Y6d39Z1Lcl
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) August 12, 2021
To do so, quarterback Daniel Jones needs to be the face of the team.
What exactly does that mean?
He Needs To Be A Spirited Leader
Daniel Jones gets a loud ovation when he came out of the tunnel.
— The Giant Insider Newspaper & Podcast (@GiantInsider) August 11, 2021
One of the most interesting tidbits that came from the Giants training camp brawl was that Jones was on the bottom of the pile.
While it is not advisable for the franchise quarterback to get into any fights much less be on the bottom of the pile, it does show spirit.
And that part of it is good.
In terms of leadership, the Giants are starting to put a supporting cast around Jones (though the offensive line is still a question mark), but in order to win, Jones must be the leader not Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, nor anyone else.
He Needs To Stay Healthy
To be successful as the face of the franchise, Jones needs to stay healthy.
That has been a problem in his previous two NFL seasons.
He missed playing time in 2019 for an ankle injury and in 2020 for a hamstring injury.
Jones is 6-foot-5 and 221 pounds so he does not have the burly build of some of his other quarterback counterparts.
Unfortunately, this makes him more susceptible to injury.
The aforementioned offensive line does not always help his cause to stay healthy and upright.
In 27 career games, he has been sacked 83 times.
That is an average of about three sacks per game.
He Needs To Play Well
Obviously, the face of the franchise has to be one of its best players.
Jones has shown glimpses of great quarterback play.
To be fair, the whole team needs to play better so it is not only on Jones.
Having a healthy Barkley back will help.
Daniel Jones with Saquon Barkley vs without Saquon Barkley 😳
— TheBlueZone (@TheBlueZonee) August 13, 2021
For his part, Jones has thrown 22 interceptions in 27 career games and has a career record of 8-18.
In the super strange NFC East, a 6-10 team in 2020 can turn the tide and win this division in 2021.
The Giants have the most upside.
The face of the Dallas Cowboys franchise, Dak Prescott, is dealing with a preseason injury on top of coming back from a major season-ending injury.
Jalen Hurts is an inexperienced quarterback who is expected to turn around the Philadelphia Eagles.
That leaves them with Ryan Fitzpatrick, a good quarterback, but is he good enough to lead the WFT through a 17-game regular season?
This is why Jones needs to play well, stay healthy, and be the spirited leader of this franchise; it is the only pathway to success in 2021.