EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Now that Daniel Jones has been named the starting quarterback, the Giants hope he has a long, productive and successful career. His first task is to win his debut, Sunday at Tampa Bay.
Jones will be the 14th quarterback since the 1970 merger to start his first NFL game in a Giants uniform. The first was Jerry Golsteyn 42 years ago, and the most recent was Eli Manning in his 2004 rookie season. The list also includes two strike-replacement quarterbacks (Jim Crocicchia and Mike Busch).
The first-start record of the 13 quarterbacks who preceded Jones is 7-6. Only Scott Brunner threw more than one touchdown pass and only Joe Pisarcik and Manning tossed more than one interception. Jones will join Phil Simms as the only Giants quarterbacks to make their first starts against the Buccaneers, and he will be the sixth of the 14 quarterbacks on the list to debut on the road.
|12/07/1980||Scott Brunner||18||8||161||2||1||at SEA||W|
|11/27/1988||Jeff Hostetler||10||5||128||1||0||at NO||W|
|10/12/1997||Danny Kanell||28||13||198||1||1||at ARI||W|
|12/14/2003||Jesse Palmer||26||15||140||1||0||at NO||L|
*Although Manning has played his entire career with the Giants, he was not drafted by them. Selected first overall in 2004, he was quickly acquired in a trade that sent quarterback Philip Rivers to the San Diego Chargers.
Jones will be the first quarterback drafted by the Giants to start a game for them since Dec. 28, 2003 – the final game before Manning's arrival the following spring – when Palmer, a fourth-round choice in 2001, played the entire game in a 37-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Giants Stadium. Palmer completed 18 of 43 passes for 110 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.
The Giants last won a game started by a quarterback they drafted on Oct. 31, 1999 at Philadelphia, 23-17 in overtime. Graham, an eighth-round draft choice in 1992 who spent three seasons with the Giants, one with the Detroit Lions and two with Arizona, re-signed with the Giants as a free agent on Feb. 17, 1998. In that Halloween game against the Eagles, Graham completed 26 of 41 passes for 241 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. The Giants won the game when Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan intercepted a pass thrown by Doug Pederson – now Philadelphia's head coach – and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.
The last time the Giants won a game started by a quarterback they drafted and who was still with the team after that initial transaction was Oct. 18, 1998, when Kanell led the team to a 34-7 victory against Arizona. Kanell, a fourth-round draft choice in 1996, completed 22 of 36 passes for 259 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
*Manning started his 232nd game on Sunday in the loss to Buffalo, dropping his record to 116-116. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he was last at .500 or below through the game of Sept. 23, 2007, a victory in Washington that improved his record to 21-21. Manning's highwater mark was 23 games above .500 through a victory at Dallas on Oct. 28, 2012, when he was 75-52.
*Against the Bills, Cody Core and TJ Jones became the 93rd and 94th different receivers to catch a Manning pass in the regular season. Jones became the 56th receiver to catch one of Manning's 362 touchdown passes.
*From the "maybe passing is overrated" department: In Pat Shurmur's 18 games as head coach, the Giants are 4-0 when they throw for fewer than 200 yards and 1-13 when they exceed 200 yards through the air.
*Denver, Jacksonville and the Giants are the only teams that have yet to force a turnover. If the Giants can come up with some takeaways, they will almost certainly improve their chances to win. Since the start of the 2018 season, they are 5-1 when the turnover differential is in their favor, and 0-12 when it is even or favors the opposition. Also, the Giants have lost 12 consecutive games in which they did not create a turnover.
*Saquon Barkley rushed for 107 yards against Buffalo, his ninth 100-yard outing in 18 career games. The previous high total for 100-yard performances in the first 18 games by a Giants back was five by Eddie Price in 1950-51. The last NFL player to rush for 100 or more yards in at least nine of his first 18 games was Denver's Clinton Portis in 2002-03. Portis had 10 such games.
*Barkley, who ran for 120 yards in Dallas on Kickoff Weekend, is the third player in Giants history to begin a season with two 100-yard rushing games, joining Price in 1952 and Rob Carpenter in 1983.
*Barkley also has 15 games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage, tying him with Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson for the most such performances in the first 18 games in a career. Prior to Barkley, the highest total by a Giants player in his first 18 games with the team was 10 by Ron Johnson from 1970-72. Johnson began his career in Cleveland, so they weren't his first 18 career games, but his first 18 with the Giants.
*Barkley's 227 yards place him second in the NFL in rushing, behind Minnesota's Dalvin Cook, who has 265 yards. Barkley is third in the league with 274 yards from scrimmage, trailing only Cook (311) and Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (287).
*Evan Engram is fourth in the league and first among tight ends with 17 receptions. New Orleans' wideout Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 20 catches.
*Buffalo's Josh Allen, Devin Singletary and Frank Gore each rushed for a touchdown vs. the Giants on Sunday. The Bills were the first team to have three different players score on the ground against the Giants since Nov. 28, 2011, when New Orleans' Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram were the touchdown trio.
*Long snapper Zak DeOssie played in his 190th regular-season game on Sunday, tying former wide receiver Amani Toomer for fifth place on the franchise's career list. George Martin is fourth with 201 games played.