Since Daniel Jones lit it up down in Tampa during his first career start under center for the Giants, it hasn't been smooth sailing for the rookie quarterback.
After Sunday's loss to the Cardinals at MetLife Stadium, Jones is now 1-3 since that win over the Bucs and his numbers haven't compared to that 336-yard, four-touchdown performance.
Jones has thrown four touchdowns to seven interceptions in his last four games, while also fumbling three times against Arizona. It's the rookie growing pains that can be expected, which is why head coach Pat Shurmur didn't even entertain the notion that a quarterback change back to Eli Manning could be in the cards.
"No. I think Daniel's going to learn from everything that's going on," Shurmur said when asked if a QB change was on the table.
Shurmur noted that he is "totally well aware" that winning games is also a priority, but that doesn't mean abandoning Jones. The transition has been made, so going back on that isn't an option now.
Instead, the Giants will do whatever it takes to fix Jones' mistakes as fast as they can so more wins can find their way to Big Blue. One of them is obvious in ball security in the pocket. Other than those three fumbles, Jones also lost two in that Bucs contest. Those five lost fumbles are the most in the NFL.
Jones knows he needs to be more careful with the football when he drops back.
"Just making sure I have two hands on the ball in the pocket," he said on Monday. "Just not letting myself get lazy with that at all and make a good decision with that. And when I'm running, keeping the ball secured."
Many times, Jones is holding onto the ball too long in the pocket, allowing pass rushers to get to him and create a strip-sack. He knows he must improve his "internal clock" and "do a better job in a lot of cases in sensing what that time is going off." That means going through progressions quickly, and either getting the ball out, running or throwing it away much efficiently than he has been. It also didn't help that the Giants' offensive line allowed 22 pressures against the Cardinals.
Turnovers in general are something Jones wants to reduce as soon as possible, saying "I think if you have one, it's too many." The interceptions he's thrown seem to be balls he is trying to force to his receivers, or simply trying to do too much on certain plays instead of throwing the ball away and regrouping.
But through the struggles, Shurmur has noticed Jones making positive growth. For example, there are throws that have been impressive. Looking at Sunday's game, his touchdown pass to Rhett Ellison was dropped right into the bread basket, where Ellison made a nice grab in good coverage. Also, Evan Engram had a great pass thrown to him down the sideline between two defenders, but he couldn't make the grab.
It's plays like that where Shurmur sees the franchise quarterback the Giants are hoping Jones develops into.
"I think he made a lot of nice throws in the game yesterday," Shurmur said. "Obviously that was a tight throw to Rhett [Ellison] in the end zone for a touchdown. He's aggressive. Made another down the sideline to Evan [Engram] that would've put us in scoring position. He made some other really good throws. He's tough, he's resilient and I think he's got a bright future."
During his Monday press conference, Shurmur was also asked about his questionable play-calling on 3rd-and-18 late in the fourth quarter with the Giants down 24-21.
The Giants ran a draw play with Saquon Barkley despite Shurmur saying they would go for it on fourth down. The play generated just three yards, leaving the Giants with a tough 4th-and-15 situation -- one they didn't convert on.
Shurmur explained why he decided to go with that certain play call instead of running two pass plays instead.
"Well, that was a draw play," Shurmur explained. "It was a pass that went to a draw if the look was clean and I felt like it was -- Saquon took that same play and went for 68 yards against Dallas last year. So I wanted to make sure he stayed involved. It popped through the first level. We probably didn't block it how we needed to the second level."
The Cardinals ran a similar play earlier in the game on 3rd-and-11, and the Giants' soft coverage allowed them to pick up the first down. But the Giants couldn't get the same result. It also came at a crucial point in the game when the Giants had enough time in the fourth quarter to either tie the game, or take the lead with a touchdown.
Instead, they punted the ball away, the Cardinals added three more points to their lead, and the Giants were given a little more than two minutes left with two timeouts and the two-minute warning on their side. But, once again, no offense could be generated with the game ending on a strip-sack by Patrick Peterson.