There are lots of things Daniel Jones has proven he can do just as well as just about anybody in the NFL. His 516 passing yards have him sandwiched neatly between Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo in the top half of the league’s rankings. His 122 rushing yards are the third most among quarterbacks, trailing only Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts. You can even make the case that Jones is the most complete package among any of his peers around the league. He is the only quarterback with over 500 passing yards and over 100 rushing yards through the first two games.
There is one very important statistic where he doesn’t measure up to those names, though.
They all have at least one. Some have two. Jones had zero.
Of the seven winless teams in the league, the Giants and the Vikings are the only ones with a quarterback who has yet to throw an interception. Jones, in fact, is the first Giants quarterback since 2015 to go through his first two games without a pick. He’s thrown just one in his last eight starts going back to last year, but the only game the Giants have won in his last five starts was the one in which he was intercepted, the season finale against the Cowboys last season.
Now he is coming off a game that might have been the best of his career yet still resulted in a 30-29 loss to Washington.
"We didn’t win the game, so we didn’t do enough and I didn’t do enough," he said.
It’s only natural for him to come off that asking a simple question of himself.
What more do I have to do?
Joe Judge answered that hypothetical one for him on Wednesday: Nothing.
"Daniel did a lot of positive things the other night, a lot of positive things," Judge said. "He put us in position to be successful. There are other things as a team that we have to do to eliminate the mistakes that cost us the opportunity to be successful. That’s the lesson we have to learn and go forward on."
Throughout Jones’s career his downfall has been costly turnovers. Most of those come at times when he attempts to make extra yardage as a ballcarrier or hold the ball too long in the pocket waiting for something to open up. When he tries to do more, he usually winds up with less. It’s why Judge is hammering in into his quarterback that he is playing winning football and it’s up to the rest of the squad to catch up, not him to do more.
"Our focus with any player is to make sure they understand there are 11 people on the field and we need each player to do their job," Judge said. "Daniel has done a really good job of that for us. Just do your job and rely on the other guys to take care of their jobs and their responsibilities. When that happens and we play complementary football we’ll have success."
Jones does appear to be finding his footing as a franchise quarterback in that regard. Now he’ll spend one more day in the shadow of Eli Manning and be reminded of the bar that was set for him when the Giants retire No. 10 at halftime on Sunday. For the rest of his career with the Giants, Jones will look up at the Ring of Honor at MetLife Stadium and measure himself against the two Super Bowl wins and the countless memories that Manning gave to the franchise and the fanbase.
"He’s a legend of the game, a legend of this franchise," Jones said of Manning. "I always looked at it as an awesome opportunity to be behind him and be with him for that year."
It will be up to Jones to recognize the impossibility of trying to eclipse all of that in one day, of trying to do too much against the Falcons, of trying to erase an 0-2 start with one victory.
Jones said he won’t try to step out of the halftime locker room early on Sunday to catch a glimpse of the ceremony honoring his predecessor or hear what Manning has to say to the crowd. He’ll be focusing on the gameplan and adjustments for the second half.
"I’m certainly happy for him," Jones said.
A win will make him happier.