Mailbag! How do the New York Giants truly view Daniel Jones?
One of the biggest comebacks (collapses?) in NFL history is all of seven hours old, so we can safely assume Sean Payton has set up shop at Chargers HQ. Nameplate on desk, ruler on head, he’s back.
What was that?
Sorry if you slept through 27-0. Nothing was going right for the Jacksonville Jaguars at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. Trevor Lawrence then turned it on. After throwing four touchdowns, Lawrence threw four touchdowns and the Jaguars advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 31-30 victory that will surely have Chargers ownership questioning whether Brandon Staley is the right coach for Justin Herbert.
Mix-ups like this get people fired… especially when a Super Bowl winner is making the interview rounds.
Meanwhile, Brock Purdy is everything LaVar Ball claimed he was — undefeated, Nevah lost, the lowest drafted quarterback in NFL history to start and win a playoff game. No one holds his hand. Purdy is the first starting quarterback with four total tackles in a playoff game. The 49ers throttled Seattle in the second half.
The other? Bills-Dolphins, Giants-Vikings and Bengals-Ravens with Buccaneers-Cowboys on Monday night.
If you’re looking for something to read over that Sunday coffee, here are the answers to your post questions. We look back at another on-field tragedy with former NFL quarterback Erik Kramer, examine Daniel Jones’ future in New York, take a stab at Chicago’s goals with that No. 1 pick. 1 and predict who will be next year’s version of Geno Smith.
This week’s stories, icymi:
Also, I’m going to open a chat thread inside the Substack app so we can hang out during games. Join here if you want:
With Hamlin being such a rallying point for the team, it reminds me of when Mike Utley went down in 1991 and the Lions called the rally “well done.” Do you know how the players on that team handled his injury and rallied around him?
Given the fact that we had the zero frame of reference for Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, this is such a good question. There’s no parallel to a teammate receiving CPR coming back to life on the field, but Mike Utley’s scary situation might be as close as we get in terms of raw shock. That ’91 Lions team is also one of the best in franchise history. They finished 12-4, earned a first-round bye and defeated the Dallas Cowboys 38-6 in the divisional round before losing to Washington in the NFC Championship. Two years later, they won the NFC Central again and haven’t won the division in 29 years since then.
Which is what makes that 91 season so appealing.
Thanks for giving me an excuse to call Erik Kramer, the quarterback on that Lions team. For those new to Go Long, Kramer’s story will blow your mind. (Here’s the three-part series.)
Kramer remembers this moment vividly. His full thoughts are below. Something this traumatic can pull a team together.
“When Mike pulled up in his wheelchair and gave the thumbs up, I didn’t know he was paralysed. I didn’t think anyone did. I was on the field and it happened during the game. But what happened to his life is that there was not a day that he was not paralyzed. That was 31 years ago. So he’s been paralyzed longer than he wasn’t.”
“We found out later that night and the next morning. A number of us went to visit him in the hospital. But I will say this about Mike, there has been no change in his mental outlook in life. And here’s a guy who literally in the last two, three, four years almost died at least six or seven times. From various infections. Maybe four years ago, someone contacted me about this doctor in Scottsdale who was doing stem cell therapy injections. I had them. I’ve been there once or twice. And I let him know about Mike. He said: ‘Wow. It’s amazing he’s still alive.’ Mike is a big guy anyway. He’s like 6-5. He’s not fat, but he’s big. This doctor said because of his weight and never getting up or moving, the pressure on his organs is crazy. Every day.”
“You never want to use someone’s tragedy as ‘This is what motivates you.’ But the forces of nature conspire and you can’t help but accept that this is part of what is happening. Mind you, this was an incredible list that we had, but we were still blown away by Washington. Once at the beginning of the season. Once to end it. They were so good. But living through it – all around Mike Utley – I think yes, there was something extra. It’s like a sidecar on a motorcycle. It’s something other than what’s happening.”
“It was a new team. I think it was sobering for everyone. What it did do was bring everyone together and eliminate any barriers that might have existed. At the moment, I didn’t see it that way. We all stayed longer than we should have.”
Do you know, or have you heard, if Daniel Jones is indeed “The Guy” that Daboll and Schoen have chosen to lead the franchise? The media (especially in New York) have reported this as if it were a done deal. They use the last two games as proof that Jones has become the franchise QB the team drafted him for. While he played very well in those games, they were against two of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Colts have some talent, but they were missing some of their best players. It also looked like they soon gave up as the Giants took a two-run lead.
Anyone who has watched the Giants this year can see the improvement Jones has made. Part of that has to do with the fact that he’s no longer playing in an outdated scheme, and part of that has to do with him seeing the field better than at any point in his career thus far.
Personally, I trust Daboll and Schoen. I think they will make the best decision for Jones (even with Mara’s slight interference). I was just wondering what you have heard about the situation.
Always here for the Daniel Jones chat. We tried to analyze all the angles two weeks ago with “Is Daniel Jones the future?” and thanks to all the New York Giants who found their way to Go Long.
This remains one of the most compelling figures in pro football because Jones is whatever you want him to be.
There’s a good case to be made that Jones is the answer, warrants a big job, and New York needs to go all in. There is a good case that he has been maxed out by Brian Daboll, and if the Giants want to seriously contend they will have to improve at some point. The beauty of it all now – as I write this anyway – is that the future is in Jones’ hands. If he shines in the playoffs, Jones could clear things up for everyone.
Here is my bias…