After the New York Giants seemingly overdrafted quarterback Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jones heard boos when shown on the video board at Yankee Stadium. Thursday night, in his preseason debut, Jones took the first step towards assuring he's never booed in New York (or New Jersey) again.
Eli Manning, entering his 16th season, will be the Giants starting quarterback on Week 1, per head coach Pat Shurmur. As such, Manning played the first series of the Giants preseason opener Thursday evening against the New York Jets. The 38-year-old completed his one pass attempt for three yards, but the Giants ultimately went three-and-out on their first drive, ending an uneventful evening for Manning.
Like Manning, Jones would only play a drive, but it was a drive that tantalized Giants fans about what he could do under center for the team in the not-so-distant future.
Jones led the Giants on an eight-play, 79-yard drive that spanned four minutes and 23 seconds. The drive culminated with Jones connecting with wide receiver Bennie Fowler for a 12-yard touchdown. In total, Jones completed all five of his passing attempts for a total of 73 yards:
Before the Giants next offensive drive, the game went into a weather delay that lasted nearly an hour. Even if their hadn't been a weather delay, it appears that the plan was only to have Jones play behind the starting offensive line last night, so his night likely would have been over after one drive regardless.
Naturally, Shurmur was asked Friday if the Giants are willing to consider starting Jones Week 1 if he continues to shine in the preseason.
"We're not going to play the what if's," Shurmur told the collective media, including Jordan Raanan of ESPN. "Nothing has changed."
The Giants won't have their bye week until Week 11, so assuming that Manning doesn't have them in serious playoff contention, conventional wisdom would suggest that that the team's Week 12 game could be the first time Jones starts. However, the Giants will play in Chicago - against one of the best defenses in the sport - in Week 12, which will be followed by a home game against the Green Bay Packers and a road game against the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles. That isn't exactly an ideal stretch to get your feet wet.
But if Jones has a strong preseason and then is left to back up Manning, you get the sense that there will again be boos. The only difference is these boos will be in favor of Jones taking over at quarterback.