As the New York Giants enter the 2021 season, Daniel Jones will began his third year as starting quarterback.
During Jones’ tenure, the Giants have gone 8-18 as the quarterback has thrown for 5,790 yards and a 35/22 TD/INT ratio.
He has added 110 rushes for 702 yards and three touchdowns.
Jones has certainly shown flashes in New York as both a passer and a runner.
DANIEL JONES. 80-YARD RUN.
— NFL (@NFL) October 23, 2020
However, he has also struggled at times and has fumbled the ball 29 times through his first 27 NFL games.
Jones is entering a make-or-break season with the Giants as New York will have to make a decision on whether to accept his fifth-year option next offseason.
If he shines, Jones will become the Giants’ quarterback of the future.
With all the pressure on him, Jones has a few key reasons why he has to succeed in 2021.
His Best Offense Ever
We’ll start with the negative, the Giants’ offense line is still quite bad.
Pro Football Focus ranks it as the worst in the NFL this season.
The o-line isn’t going to help Jones’ chances for success, but his skill position players certainly will.
Former Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley is back after missing all but two games last season due to an ACL tear.
In his rookie season, Barkley rushed 261 times for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns while catching 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns.
He was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Having a guy like Barkley who is such a skilled playmaker will open up the field for Jones and give him a stellar option to throw to out of the backfield.
The Giants also added former Pro Bowl wide receiver Kenny Golladay this offseason with a four-year/ $72 million contract.
Golladay appeared in just five games last year due to injury, but in 2019, when he was fully healthy, the former Detroit Lions’ receiver caught 65 passes for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns.
With Golladay’s 6’4″ 214 lbs frame, he will be an ideal target for Jones to throw to in the red zone.
Furthermore, with a career yards per reception average of 16.8, he will be able to help Jones both move the chains and break off huge plays.
All-in-all, the Golladay signing gave the Giants the wide receiver they desperately coveted.
That means for Jones, he cannot squander an opportunity to succeed as the offense’s leader.
The Direction Of The Team
The Giants might have only gone 6-10 last season, but the record doesn’t tell the entire story.
For one, the six wins were actually their highest total of the past four seasons.
They finished second in the NFC East and defeated both the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Football Team twice; who were both playoff teams.
But more so than their improvement last year, the Giants’ offseason moves show they’re dedicated to once again becoming a winning franchise.
Alongside Golladay, the Giants signed former first-round pick Adoree Jackson and re-signed defensive lineman Leonard Williams.
The Giants have been spending money building both their offense and defense, a sign they want to win now.
But perhaps the biggest change has been the addition of head coach Joe Judge.
A former New England Patriots special teams coach, Joe Judge has completely changed the culture in New York.
He has brought a no nonsense attitude and has a clear focus on winning football games.
— Giants Nation (@NYG_Nation10) August 5, 2021
The Giants have not reached the postseason since 2016, but coach Judge has them on the brink.
If Jones can step up as a leader, he can lead the Giants back into the playoffs and secure the starting quarterback role in New York for years to come.
The pressure is all on him.