by Jeff Pilgrim @Jeff_NYG
Daniel Jones: 3rd and 13:
The Giants have the ball late in the 3rd quarter while up 17-3. The Redskins know they have to get a stop on 3rd and 13 to have a chance at getting back in the game. A stop here and a touchdown for Washington would make this a one-score game with a full quarter to go. However, Daniel Jones was playing in front of his home crowd for the first time in a meaningful game. He had other plans.
Not yet in field-goal range, the Giants line up on the Washington 41 yard line, 3rd and 13 with 4:51 to go in the third quarter. Giants lineup in their three wide receiver set. Running Back, Hilliman along side Jones, and TE Rhett Ellison are set to assist with the expected pass rush.
The Redskins send five and they get immediate pressure. Hilliman offered no help in terms of pass protection. By the time Jones planted his back foot, the pressure was on and he had to make an escape plan. The wide receivers haven’t finished their routes yet and he had to make a decision: live to see another day and take the sack…or make some magic happen.
As Giants fans, we’ve seen this painful situation play out too many times. Eli steps back, little bit of pressure, sack. But this wasn’t Eli. This was our rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Despite his surroundings caving in, Jones was determined to survive the wave of pass rushers coming at him. He planted his back foot at the 50 yard line and he took off. Two different Redskins had their hands on Jones but he never considered going down, adding a spin move to get out of the last attempt. At one point he seemed to quickly glance at the sideline to check the first down marker which was at the 28 yard line. He ran through that, avoided any kind of big hit, and dove for the 25 yard line. First Down Giants.
This was not just about a 3rd and long converted for a First Down, or even a division win at Met-life Stadium. This was a sign of things to come. We’ve got a quarterback that can extend plays. We’ve got a QB that doesn’t need the pocket to be perfect in order to make something happen. To win in this league, you’ve got to offer up a little magic once in a while. Players like Russel Wilson and Aaron Rodgers come to mind. Just when you think the defense has them, they make a play that changes the game, changes the season, and changes the franchise.
Our young QB still has a ways to go and so does this team, but it’s impossible to deny the impact he has made so far. The Giants have tough match ups on the horizon, and there will be bumps in the road, but we have every reason to be excited about our new quarterback.