The last bit of hope for the New York Giants’ season was extinguished in Monday’s discouraging 30-10 loss to the Buccaneers. The firing of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett on Tuesday showed that this wasn’t just an ordinary loss.
The Giants will try to salvage their season beginning with Sunday’s game against the Eagles, but the real intrigue is what the future holds. Here’s a checklist of five things the Giants need to do over the next seven weeks to set up a successful offseason:
1. Put more on Daniel Jones’ plate
It’s time to take off the training wheels for Daniel Jones. The quarterback is in his third season, and yet Garrett’s primary focus was limiting Jones’ turnovers.
That’s a limiting approach, as evidenced by Jones’ 20 touchdown passes in 24 games over the past two seasons. That’s tied for 24th most over that span, behind Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, who both retired after last season. Over the same period, Jones is tied for the third-most turnovers in the league.
Obviously, Garrett’s approach didn’t work. Jones has reverted to the worst version of himself recently, with eight turnovers over the past five games. His interceptions on Monday night were the types of mistakes the Giants hoped Jones had moved past.
Trying to mold Jones into a game manager hasn’t worked, so the Giants should cut him loose. Sure, he may commit more turnovers, but those are coming back anyway and at least there’s the potential upside of the production he had as a rookie with a more aggressive approach.
The Giants are going to have a hard decision on Jones this offseason if he continues on this track. They need more information to determine if he can be their long-term answer at quarterback, so they should give him the freedom to do more and see how he responds.
2. Feed the top playmakers
The Giants paid Kenny Golladay $72 million this offseason. It’s hard to get a return on that type of investment when Golladay is getting fewer than five targets per game.
Giants coach Joe Judge likes to play every player in uniform. But there can’t be any more critical moments when No. 6 receiver Collin Johnson is on the field and Golladay is on the sideline.