There’s no denying that Daniel Jones gave the Giants a much-needed spark when he made his first start on Sunday. With the team having lost its first two games, it was exactly the kind of lift that Pat Shurmur wanted to inject into a moribund season.
But did the result leave the head coach with any regrets over not having made the move to Jones sooner?
He gave three answers to that question.
“No. Nope. Not at all.”
Jones’ debut as starter was electrifying, and it helped salvage a season that was quickly fading into irrelevance. Last week, many people wondered why Shurmur was making the switch from Eli Manning to Jones after just two games. After seeing the rookie play, it was reasonable to ask what took so long.
The Giants allowed just as many points on Sunday (31) as they did in the first two games (31.5 average). The difference this time was that they scored one more point (32) than they did in the first two games combined (31).
The season would have a very different tenor if the Giants were 2-1 or even 3-0 rather than 1-2 at this point.
“I feel like I did what I thought was best,” Shurmur said. “At least in this scenario, it played out well for Daniel. He had a good performance the first week out.”
Notes & quotes: Shurmur was impressed by how Eli Manning handled his role as the backup quarterback on Sunday. “He was very involved,” Shurmur said. “It was actually a really good situation for Daniel. Can you imagine being in your first start and sitting next to a guy that’s done it for over 15 years, and done it at a very high level? That had to be very reassuring for Dan.” … Shurmur said the priority on the Giants’ final drive was to get in the end zone, not worry about how much time they left the Bucs (1:16, enough to get within distance for a game-winning field goal attempt, as it turned out). “The ideal scenario, obviously, is to leave them no time to go back down and score,” he said. “I get that. But we got down in there low and we were choosing to throw the ball.” There were several snaps that Jones accepted with 20 or more seconds left on the playclock, ones prior to the fourth-down play that resulted in his touchdown run, where ticks should have been run off in a perfect situation. “The prime objective is to score,” Shurmur said. “With the time that was left on the clock and a fourth-down call, in terms of messing with the clock, your hands are sort of tied” … WR Russell Shepard suffered a sprained foot in the game. Shurmur had no prognosis for his return.