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Mailbag: More deep passes with Kenny Golladay?


Anthony in New Jersey: Now that the receiving corps has been built up and the offensive line has a year of being together, with some improvement, will it be reasonable to think that Jason Garrett will try to throw the ball downfield more often than last year?

John Schmeelk: Last season, Daniel Jones was one of the best deep throwers in the league. On passes targeted 20 or more yards down the field, Jones led the league amongst passers with at least 12 attempts with a 131.2 quarterback rating. PFF also tracked him as the most accurate deep ball thrower in the NFL using their plus-accuracy (48.8%) and accuracy (51.2%) metrics.

Jones, however, ranked 21st in the NFL with only 49 attempts of 20+ yards down the field. If the offensive line can show it can hold up (which could be tough early in the year against talented defenses like Denver and Washington), it is hard to believe Garrett wouldn't try to manufacture more downfield attempts for Jones that would lead to more explosive plays.

Kenny Golladay's ability to make contested catches down the field should also open up more opportunities for Jones to push the ball deep. When Garrett was in Dallas, the Cowboys' offense featured a lot of downfield plays, and Tony Romo was never shy about pushing the ball deep to players like Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. It should be no different for the Giants this season.

Kevin in New York: Why there is so much media negativity around Daniel Jones? For analytics lovers, he ranks high in clean-pocket throws and deep-ball throws. For those who say he turns the ball over too much, he had one interception the last eight games and two lost fumbles (when he was hit during the throw and on a hand-off). And he closed the year with a 4-2 stretch. I believe the negativity stems from ego-driven draft prognosticators who hate to admit a wrong evaluation.

John Schmeelk: Jones' numbers from a clean pocket are not a small sample size and are generally predictive of a quarterback's ability. Jones was PFF's 12th-highest graded quarterback with no pressure last season. He only had eight turnover-worthy plays in those situations. They are strong numbers that should make Giants' fans optimistic his overall production can take a big jump. With all that said, Jones still has to go out there and do it to prove those doubters wrong by having a big third season.

Chris in New Jersey: Will Kadarius Toney have a chance to be the return man?

John Schmeelk: There are a lot of numbers at wide receiver, which may limit some of his snaps there. But his open-field ability with the ball in his hands lends to potential as a return man. Joe Judge is not afraid to use prominent players in those roles, and Toney could be featured there.

Louis in Florida: For years, Dallas used the quick slant to deal with defensive interior pressure and to get the ball in their playmaker's hands. Joe Montana and Jerry Rice used it against Lawrence Taylor and the Giants. Enter Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, who are dangerous after-the-catch receivers with first-step quickness and separation as their strengths. Let's watch Daniel Jones use a two-step drop to the playoffs.

John Schmeelk: The slant will be a very important part of the Giants' offense this year for the same reasons pointed out in the above statement.

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