Week 9 of the NFL brings us the upcoming Monday Night Football matchup of the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The last time that these teams faced each other back in Week 2, starting quarterback Eli Manning was benched and his backup QB Daniel Jones took his spot under center. The very next week, head coach Pat Shurmur announced that rookie Jones would be the new starting quarterback of the New York Giants. It’s only fitting that Jones be featured as our Monday Night Rookie in our continued series.
Jones was announced as the starting quarterback at Duke University in 2016. Over the next three seasons, he would throw for a combined 8,201 passing yards and 52 touchdown passes. He was awarded the Quick Lane Bowl MVP in 2017, the Independence Bowl MVP in 2018, and the Senior Bowl MVP in 2019. Daniel was drafted by the New York Giants during the first round as the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Jones started his first game as quarterback in NFL Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would finish the day with a PFN OSM grade of 34.84, which ranked him as sixth best QB for the week against other NFL quarterbacks. Any OSM grade above 30 is considered very good. Daniel was the first Giants rookie quarterback to win his first start since Scott Brunner back in 1980.
Leading into Daniel Jones’ Monday Night Football Week 9 matchup, Jones has an average PFN OSM grade of 24.38 on the season that places him firmly at QB16 in the League. Pro Football Network’s Offensive Share Metric is a formula that is used to determine a player’s individual performance and is graded against actions that are solely in his own control. He also has a current pass completion of 62.5% on the season with a passer rating of 84.4.
Next Gen Stats
A few of Jones’ Next Gen stats this year stand out as well. In the 2019 season so far, Jones is the sixth ranked quarterback for Time to Throw (TT) with an average of 2.88 seconds. This stat measures the average amount of time elapsed from the snap until the ball is released (excluding plays that result in a sack). Let’s look at some examples of this.
The following clip is from NFL Week 8 against the Detroit Lions. Pay attention to how Daniel moves around inside the pocket after the snap of the ball. This awareness and pocket movement helps to create that valuable time to allow the play to develop and his receivers to get open downfield. On this play, 4.42 seconds pass between the snap and when Jones releases the ball.
Here is another example of Daniel’s TT in the pocket. This clip is from NFL Week 6 against the New England Patriots. Watch how, with the help of his offensive line, Jones is able to stand tall in the pocket for 3.75 seconds and allow his receiver to find some room resulting in another big play.
Another number that stands out on Daniel Jones’ stat line is his aggressiveness percentage (AGG) for his attempted passes. This number represents the percentage of all attempted passes (completed or incomplete) where the intended receiver has a defender less than a yard from him at the time the ball arrives. Currently, Daniel Jones is throwing an aggressive pass on 26.9% of his attempts which leads the League. This is the highest AGG percentage among all NFL QB’s in 2019.
The following clip from Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shows an example of these tight window throws. Here you will see Daniel drop a pass into double coverage to Sterling Shepard for an impressive touchdown score. Notice how close the defenders are in relation to Shepard at the time of the catch.
Here’s one more example of these aggressive throws. This time back to Week 8 versus the Lions. Look at the defender on top of Golden Tate at the time he makes the catch but is still able to come up with a big play. These types of tight passes are very risky but, if successful, can result in those valuable yards that are needed to move the chains down the field.
On Monday Night Football, quarterback Daniel Jones will have his work cut out for him as he lines up across from the eighth ranked Dallas Cowboys defense in week 9. But with consistent PFN OSM grades of 21.00+ in five of his last six games, he will be looking to continue this trend of a breakout rookie QB in his very first NFL primetime game.