Three Giants.com writers give their take on Sunday’s 31-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers:
John Schmeelk: Every experience Daniel Jones has this season is going to be his first in the NFL. Even dating back to his college days, he never played in a game with the type of weather he faced in Metlife Stadium against the Packers on Sunday. The game started with snow, which covered the field, before turning to a mixed precipitation with freezing rain.
For the most part, Jones handled the weather well. He didn’t have many issues handling the football, spare a botched hand-off on a jet sweep to Da’Mari Scott that didn’t seem to be weather related. There were two situations where Packers players swiped at Jones’ arms when he was holding the ball in the pocket, and he held onto it. There weren’t any problems taking snaps from under center.
There were some issues on throws over the middle. Jones was too high on a crossing pattern to Cody Latimer in the first half. He also threw it over Sterling Shepard’s head on a red zone throw to the right that could have been squeezed in for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, he had Shepard on a slant with a chance to convert a 3rd and 18, but he airmailed the pass right to safety Darnell Savage for a game-altering interception. Jones is typically an accurate passer of the football, so it is fair to wonder if those high throws had something to do with a cold and slick ball.
Jones will have to learn to play in conditions at MetLife Stadium and in the northeast that he didn’t have to at Duke. This was his first look at wintery conditions and a good learning experience for the future.
Dan Salomone: Michael Becton, the multimedia producer here at the Giants, captured a special moment in the typical postgame crush on the field. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion, had some words of advice for Daniel Jones, the Giants’ promising rookie. “Hang in there, brother. Long career, right?” Rodgers said. “Learn from these days and the good ones, too.”
Within the loss, the team’s eighth in a row, Jones threw three interceptions. He also extended his streak to 10 starts with at least one touchdown pass, the fourth-longest by any player in NFL history to start a career. The good and the bad of Jones hasn’t been as balanced for the entire team, which fell to 2-10 this season and 7-21 since the start of last year. The only thing to do at this point is learn from the losses and try to find anything to build on heading into another important offseason, which will include a high draft choice for another year.
Lance Medow: If there’s one stat that jumps off the page from Sunday’s loss to the Packers, it’s that Green Bay went seven of 13 on third down (eight of those downs were for eight yards or more). Missed opportunities for the defense to get off the field and force the Packers to either punt or settle for a field goal was a huge storyline in the game and the best example to showcase that issue was on a Packers 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ate up 7:15 in the third quarter and padded Green Bay’s lead 24-13. The Packers faced four third downs on that drive and three of them were converted as a result of a penalty or execution on Green Bay’s part. The first third down was a third and six from the New York 46-yard line. Aaron Rodgers’ pass to Davante Adams was incomplete but Sam Beal was called for pass interference handing Green Bay a first down. Later in the drive, the Packers failed to convert a third and ten from the Giants’ 35-yard line but they decided to go for it on fourth down and Rodgers connected with Geronimo Allison for 15 yards to keep the drive alive.
A few plays later, on third and two from the 12-yard line, Rodgers found Adams for six-yards and then later, after Green Bay was called for offensive holding and went from first and goal at the one to third and goal at the 17, Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Adams. The Giants’ defense was called for three penalties on the drive: Beal pass interference, Antoine Bethea holding and too many men on the field, which was declined. Two of the penalties resulted in automatic first downs and those mishaps, clearly, came back to haunt the Giants as the Packers capitalized with a touchdown. To put things in perspective, the Giants were called for just four penalties in the game but three were against the defense and all three came on third downs. You can’t give gifts to the opposition, especially when that team has Aaron Rodgers as its quarterback.