Giants Q&A: Why Joe Judge kept Daniel Jones inactive against Seahawks
How close was Daniel Jones to playing?
If he had it his way, he would have. "This guy wanted to go out there and play," Joe Judge said of his top quarterback, who is dealing with a hamstring strain suffered last week and had a pregame workout on Sunday that brought him to the cusp of participation. "I’ll tell you right now, I had to kind of protect him from himself." Jones wound up being inactive and Colt McCoy got the start in Sunday’s 17-12 win over the Seahawks.
Why did Judge ultimately keep Jones on the sideline?
"I didn’t want to put him in a position where I wasn’t 100% certain that he could defend himself on every play," Judge said. "I have to make those tough decisions sometimes. This guy is a competitor. He’s a tough dude. I have no doubt he would have gone out there and fought through whatever pain he had. But that wasn’t the decision I was looking to make."
Will he be ready for next week’s game against the Cardinals?
It would seem likely, based on his progress throughout this past week, but Judge wouldn’t go that far. "I don’t have a 100% answer on that," he said. "We want to get all of our guys healthy . . . I can’t give you an answer one way or another right now."
How did McCoy perform?
His stats were not overwhelming — 13-for-22, 105 yards, one TD, one INT — but Judge said he did exactly what was asked of him. "He made big throws when we needed him to and made some tough plays down the stretch," he said. "He made some right decisions at the line of scrimmage that led to big plays on runs. He did a lot of things that may not show up in the stat sheet, but he played a big-time game for us."
Is Blake Martinez hurt?
He left the game with a lower-back injury and missed the final drive. Judge said he will be evaluated to see if he can return next week. The Giants will need their defensive captain and play-caller.
Does anyone have a better snap-to-takeaway ratio than Niko Lalos?
It’s unlikely. After coming up with a key interception last week on eight defensive plays, the undrafted rookie linebacker from Dartmouth was in the right place again in the first half Sunday. This time he pounced on a botched snap that Russell Wilson nearly recovered before Jabrill Peppers punched it away from him. "He’s two-for-two now, two games and two takeaways," Leonard Williams said.
What’s wrong with the special teams?
When the Giants were terrible, they were the most consistent unit for the team. Now that they are winning some games, they’ve become a bit of a liability. On Sunday, the Giants allowed a punt to be blocked for a safety and Graham Gano missed an extra point for the first time this season. He redeemed himself with a 48-yard field goal that made it a two-score game in the fourth quarter.
How big is the Giants’ lead in the NFC East?
We won’t really know until after Monday’s game between Washington and Pittsburgh. If the Steelers remain unbeaten, the Giants will be a full game ahead of Washington and also will hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their sweep, a de facto two-game lead with four games to play. If the season ended right now, the Giants would host Seattle in a wild-card game.
Dallas faces the Ravens on Tuesday, and if the Cowboys win, they will be a game behind the Giants with a head-to-head looming in Week 17.