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Former Duke football star Daniel Jones dazzles in first career NFL start for the New York Giants

<p>Daniel Jones won his first career start after taking over for two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.</p>

Daniel Jones won his first career start after taking over for two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.

After a disappointing 0-2 start with future Hall of Famer Eli Manning under center, the New York Giants made the decision to put Daniel Jones at the helm to see if they could turn their season around. Their quarterback of the future did not disappoint.

The No. 6 overall pick shined in his NFL debut, completing 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards and four total touchdowns, including a game-winning, seven yard scamper to give New York their first win of the season with a 32-31 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jones first drive started out hot as he completed his first pass for 18 yards to tight end Evan Engram. Many expected the Giants to go run-heavy behind their Pro Bowl running back, Saquon Barkley, but the team showed no hesitancy letting Jones throw the ball. He completed three straight passes before the drive stalled and ended in a field goal.

The 2019 Senior Bowl MVP made a series of nice plays in the second quarter that included escaping multiple sacks and placing a couple perfect throws. Jones capped off a 12- play, 75-yard drive by taking it himself seven yards for the score, the first of his career.


Unfortunately, Jones’ only flaw from the preseason followed him to Tampa Bay, as he fumbled the ball late in the second quarter in New York territory after Barkley went down with an ankle injury. The Giants ended the half down 10-28 with Jones hitting on 12 of 19 throws for 123 yards and leading the team in rushing with 21 yards and a touchdown.

Despite facing a daunting hole, the Giants' offense came out clicking with Jones hitting Engram on an electric 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half and connecting with wide receiver Sterling Shepard for the following two-point conversion. Later in the third, Jones put together a beautiful drive that ended with his second passing touchdown, bringing New York within three.

 

New York's offense stalled somewhat for the end of the third quarter and the majority of the fourth, but when Jones got the ball down six, he executed the two minute drill to perfection. The Charlotte native led his team down the field with no timeouts and ran in the game tying touchdown with just over a minute remaining. An extra point gave the Giants the lead, and the win was sealed with the Buccaneers missing a potential game-winning field goal as time expired.


Ever since hearing his named called in April, many have doubted the young quarterback's ability to be the next leader of the Giants, and they all ate their words after Sunday's impressive performance. The ever humble Jones was quick to note it was a team effort and that New York will now shift focus to Washington next week.


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