EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - When the Giants scouted Daniel Jones they were convinced he had a little Eli Manning in him. They saw that same calm, even-keeled personality that Manning has - the ability to appear unflappable when things start to go wrong.
On Friday, Jones showed them they were right.
The rookie quarterback had his first small taste of adversity - two ugly fumbles that were recovered by the Chicago Bears. But he didn't let that ruin his night, as he completed 11 of 14 passes for 161 yards, and ended his night with a picture-perfect, 15-yard touchdown strike to T.J. Jones in the Giants' 32-13 win over the Bears.
Yes, it was all against an array of Bears second- and third-teamers who surely didn't game plan for the rookie. But it's still a terrific sign for his future. There have been many rookie quarterbacks who have crumbled in the face of their first adversity, even in the preseason. Jones showed he has the ability to shake bad plays off.
Just like Manning.
And that, as much as anything, is why the Giants were so convinced that he was worthy of the sixth overall pick in the draft. They loved his arm, athletic ability and football IQ, and they thought he had the right temperament to handle New York. But they also loved the quality that's so hard to teach - the ability to be calm in a sea of chaos.
That has served Manning well during his 15 NFL seasons. It's a quality that should serve Jones well, too.
Here are a few more Takeaways from the Giants' second preseason game …
- An important first Takeaway that puts everything else in context: The Bears made an absolute mockery of this game by sitting 25 players, including just about all their starters. So there was no QB Mitch Trubisky, no Khalil Mack and no … well, nobody most people would have even heard of in passing. So keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind that not playing key players is becoming more and more of a trend in the NFL. In a few years, these games are going to be all about bottom-of-the-roster guys and rookies. Fans will still pay full price, though.
- Manning was 4-4 for 42 yards and a touchdown, so he remains perfect this preseason on the two series he played. It's hard to make anything out of his performance since it was against the Bears' backup defense. He did his job, which in this case is much better than not doing it.
- And speaking of that … The Giants' starting defense had an awful lot of trouble on the opening drive with a Bears backup offense, led by backup quarterback Chase Daniel. Considering their poor start against the Jets last week, that remains a bad sign. They did get a lot of pressure on Daniel against the second-string offensive line, and they did hold the Bears to a 41-yard field goal. But would a three-and-out against a bunch of backups been too much to ask?
Actually, it wasn't all bad for the defense. There was one great play where the Bears tried to run a reverse to receiver Marvin Hall. Giants CB Janoris Jenkins followed him all the way across the field and ran him down, holding him to a 2-yard gain. Without Jenkins' hustle, that reverse had a chance to go a long way.
- Also, on the second drive, LB Markus Golden got a sack. Again, it was against a second-team tackle, but it was still a good sign. The Giants are counting on a lot from Golden, a free agent who had 12.5 sacks in 2016 before he tore his ACL. The Giants think he's healthy and can get back to his old form.
- With Golden Tate staring at a four-game suspension to start the season and WR Sterling Shepard still dealing with a fractured thumb, the Giants are still on the lookout for reliable receivers. So it was good to see Bennie Fowler have another solid outing (2 catches, 25 yards, one touchdown). His touchdown catch was solid - a quick slant where he absorbed a hit from rookie corner Duke Shelley at about the 4, bounced off and continued into the end zone. He and Cody Latimer (2-60) are showing they could be at least adequate replacements for Tate in September.
- Daniel Jones' worst play was a bit alarming. It was a strip sack by Bears linebacker James Vaughters. What made it so odd is that Vaughters didn't come from Jones' blindside. He was rushing right at Jones, who didn't flinch. It was as if he didn't see him, even though he was right in front of his face. Obviously his awareness in the pocket needs to be better than that. If that was Khalil Mack bearing down on him, the ball wouldn't have been the only thing to have been hit on that play.
- WR T.J. Jones not only caught a touchdown pass, but he also had a 43-yard kickoff return, making up for a muffed return earlier in the game. He's had a solid camp and if he can be a threat on returns too, he has a chance to lock up the final receiver spot on the roster.
dAnIeL jOnEs CaN't ThRoW tHe DeEp BaLl 🤨 pic.twitter.com/3ERPB1ufQb- New York Giants (@Giants) August 17, 2019
DANNY DIMES 🥤🥤🥤 pic.twitter.com/Ixez6VfgUA- New York Giants (@Giants) August 17, 2019
The Giants head to Cincinnati for the all-important third preseason game against the Bengals next Thursday. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.