Daniel Jones runs with ball blue jersey Week 1 2021
Late in the third quarter on Sunday with the Giants trailing the Broncos, 17-7, New York was deep in Denver territory and threatening to make it a one-score game when Daniel Jones gave the ball away.
On a 1st and 10 from the Denver 22-yard line, Jones scrambled up the middle and didn’t slide as defenders neared him, fumbling the ball and — with it — the Giants’ last best chance of coming back to win.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Jones said that after watching film of the play, he concluded that he needs to make sure he’s “keeping it tight to my body throughout the play — even before contact, so it’s in a good spot. I can definitely be better there.”
When asked why the ball protection is still such an issue into his third season, Jones said each situation is “separate” from the other and that he’s working on it.
“It’s certainly frustrating,” Jones said. “Those are big plays and certainly change the game, so I’ve got to do better.”
Jones also discussed when to slide or go head-first, and weighed in on whether he would have slid if he was able to have a do-over of Sunday’s play.
“There’s certain situations where you can probably do both,” he said. “I think there’s also something to learn from that on Sunday and making those decisions. … I think certainly protecting it better, but watching the film, definitely could’ve slid also. Think it might have been smart.”
While it’s not fair to place blame for all of Jones’ turnovers completely on him (especially when it comes to a bunch of interceptions that have been on good passes that were deflected by his receivers), Jones’ fumbling problem remains maddening.
He fumbled 18 times during his rookie season in 2019 and 11 times in 2020.
And regarding the fumble on Sunday, the fact that it happened on first down and not as part of a desperate effort on a do-or-die play adds to that frustration.
As Jones moves forward in what could be a make-or-break season for him, his turnover issue will be one of the big things to watch.