Daniel Jones doubled his previous career-best mark with four touchdowns Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit, but the rookie quarterback got rocked for three sacks and two fumbles -- one lost -- as the Giants fell 31-26 to the Lions.
Week 8's loss to Detroit (3-3-1) marked the fourth straight for New York (2-6).
Second-year head coach Pat Shurmur indicated bluntly that the offense -- particularly the line -- failed to help Jones.
"He's tough -- I've said that all along," Shurmur said when he met the media for his postgame press conference. "It wasn't his fault. He got f------ hit. Excuse me. It wasn't his fault. He got hit and the ball got put out of there. He battles. He battles and that's what it showed me. Excuse me -- I apologize. That was really unprofessional of me."
Shurmur's passionate response all but summed up his frustrations with the Giants, who let Jones' gritty performance -- he completed 28 of 41 passes (68.3 percent) for 322 yards -- got to waste.
The Giants faced an early hole after Jones' fumble on first-and-10 at New York's own 29-yard line got returned 13 yards by Devon Kennard for a touchdown, putting the Lions up 7-0 at the 7:12 mark of the first quarter.
On the Lions offense's previous drive, the Giants' defense forced an opportunistic turnover when cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted Matt Stafford at New York's own five-yard line and ending Detroit's scoring threat.
"We kind of dug ourselves a hole there to begin with and that cost us in the end," Jones said. "But I thought after that we responded and we played hard. We didn't do enough to win, didn't make enough plays and you make it tough when you dig yourself a hole like that. So it was a costly mistake and something I have got to learn from."
The Giants let a prime chance to get back in the win column slip away, and the stakes only get higher when Week 9 arrives next Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET against the Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
"It's exciting to see (Jones) have a short-term memory," said veteran wide receiver Golden Tate, who caught eight passes for 85 yards (10.6 average). "Week-in and week-out, there's a chance to win. We completely believe (in) him, and I believe Eli (Manning) is doing a great job of teaching him the game -- so is (Alex) Tanney. I see him on the defenses out at practice during that period, and he's back working. You see other guys back there working as well. He wants to be really, really good. He's taking that approach every single day."