EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Only three times in NFL history has a rookie quarterback thrown for at least 300 yards in a game with four touchdown passes and no interceptions. Two of those performances were by Daniel Jones this season.
Jones hit that trifecta again on Sunday when he passed for 308 yards and four scores in a 34-27 loss to the Jets. Two weeks earlier in Detroit, Jones threw for 322 yards and four touchdowns. Jones did not throw an interception in either of those games, nor in his other 300-yard performance, which was his starting debut at Tampa Bay on Sept. 22 when he passed for two scores and ran for two more.
The only other rookie to ever post a 300-4-0 game was Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota, who threw for 371 yards, four touchdowns and no picks in an overtime victory at New Orleans on Nov 8, 2015.
This season has featured 12 games in which a quarterback hit the 300 yard, four touchdown marks without an interception. Jones is the only QB to do it twice. The one-timers are Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett, DeShaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott (who did it against the Giants while passing for 405 yards on Kickoff Weekend).
The negative, of course is the Giants lost both of Jones’ big statistical games, continuing a longstanding pattern. Since Eli Manning became the starter in 2004, the Giants have won just half of the 14 games in which their quarterback threw exactly four touchdown passes (including 7-5 when it’s Manning). They have been, however, 27-8 when Manning threw for three scores.
The model is the same with 300-yard games. Jones is 1-2. Manning is 19-32.
*While Jones threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns, Arizona’s Kyler Murray passed for 324 yards, three touchdowns with one interception at Tampa Bay to make Week 10 the first in which two rookie quarterbacks each recorded at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in NFL history.
*Giants rookie quarterbacks have thrown for at least 300 yards in a game just five times, and Jones has three of them. The others were by Charlie Conerly (363 yards at Pittsburgh on Dec. 5, 1948) and Phil Simms (300 yards vs. San Francisco on Oct. 14, 1979).
*With six games remaining, Jones already owns the Giants’ single-season rookie record with 187 completions. When the team next plays on Nov. 24 in Chicago, he will break the rookie mark for attempts; Jones has 297 and Conerly’s 1948 record is 299. Jones, who has thrown for 1,984 yards, needs 192 to break Conerly’s rookie yardage record of 2,175. And with 15 touchdown passes, he is on track to break Conerly’s 71-year-old mark of 22.
*Jones has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his first eight starts, a streak that is twice as long as any other Giants quarterback since 1950. The previous long was four games by both Jeff Hostetler and Dave Brown. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s possible Conerly had an eight-start streak in 1948. But teams often used multiple quarterbacks 71 years ago and it’s often hard to pin down who started certain games.
*Jones’ touchdown streak is the longest by a Giants’ quarterback since Manning threw for a score in eight consecutive games in 2017. But the Giants rookie has a way to go before matching the longest recent streak by a rookie quarterback; Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield threw at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 17 starts.
*Jones is the fifth rookie quarterback with at least two games of four touchdown passes in league history, joining Robert Griffin III (two games in 2012), Mariota (two in 2015), Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (three in 1961) and Watson (three in 2017).
*Jones led the Giants in rushing in each of the last two games, with 54 yards vs. Dallas and 20 against the Jets. He is the first quarterback to lead the team in rushing in consecutive games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
*Jones also had the Giants’ longest run in each of those games, a 16-yarder against the Cowboys, tied with Golden Tate, and an 11-yarder on Sunday. The last Giants quarterback to have the team’s longest run in consecutive games was Kent Graham in 1999 (a 14-yarder at Philadelphia on Oct. 31 and a 17-yarder vs. Indianapolis on Nov. 14).
*Four different Giants receivers have gained at least 100 yards in a game this season – Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Tate. That is the team’s highest number of 100-yard receivers since 2012, when the players were Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.
*On Sunday, Slayton became the 21st Giants receiver to catch exactly 10 passes in a game. The previous player to do it was Sterling Shepard vs. New Orleans on Sept. 30, 2018.
*Tate’s first two Giants touchdown receptions covered 64 (at New England) and 61 (at the Jets) yards. He is the first Giants receiver whose initial two scoring catches were at least that long since 1965, when Homer Jones caught an 89-yarder vs. Philadelphia on Oct. 17 and a 79-yarder at Cleveland on Nov. 14.
*The Giants did not force a turnover vs. the Jets and have lost their last 14 regular-season games in which they had no takeaways. That includes four games this season (also the first Dallas game, Buffalo and Arizona).
*One issue that has plagued the Giants this season is slow starts. In the four seasons from 2015-18, not one opponent scored touchdowns on each of their first two offensive possessions. This season, the Buccaneers, Cardinals and Jets have all done it.
*Jones’ issues holding onto the ball have been well-documented. He leads the NFL in both fumbles (13) and lost fumbles (nine). The Giants have NFL-highs of 24 turnovers and 12 lost fumbles.
*Aldrick Rosas missed an extra point try in each of the last three games. It’s the first time the Giants have missed a PAT in three consecutive games since 1932.
*The Giants are 31-35 in games following a Monday night game, including 13-14 since 2000.
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