Cardinals preparing to see evolved Giants QB Daniel Jones on Sunday

Dec 11, 2020, 1:03 PM
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, center, tries to evade the Arizona Cardinals defense duri...

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, center, tries to evade the Arizona Cardinals defense during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

As the New York Giants slowly brought along second-year man Daniel Jones, who has been testing out a bum hamstring this week, the Arizona Cardinals had fewer doubts about the opposing quarterback’s status.

“For me, I kind of want to watch Daniel Jones because I believe he’s going to be the guy that’s going to be in there,” Cardinals safety Budda Baker said of this week’s film studies. “As much Daniel Jones film as I can, as we can.”

The Giants (5-7) have four consecutive wins heading into the game at MetLife Stadium. Jones missed the last one, the most impressive of the current run.

New York’s surging defense contained Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to 263 passing yards and turned over Seattle twice. The Giants offense leaned on a rushing attack led by Wayne Gallman (135 yards) and Alfred Morris (39 yards) as backup quarterback Colt McCoy threw for 105 yards in the win.

Jones likely rejoins a team riding a wave — but also one no longer creeping up on anyone unless the Cardinals allow it.

Jones, the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, was the second quarterback off the board after Arizona’s Kyler Murray.

In their first meeting as pros, Arizona won 27-21. Jones went 22-of-35 for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception, plus 35 rushing yards.

He put up that stat line while taking a career-high eight sacks.

Jones has taken steps forward this year under a new coaching staff led by Joe Judge, completing 63% of his passes for 2,335 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Coincidentally, heading into their second meeting as pros, Jones and Murray have the exact same offensive grade on Pro Football Focus, which is tied for the 11th-best mark in the NFL this year.

This year, Jones is more utilized in the rushing attack and ranks fifth among quarterbacks with 403 yards on the ground this season.

His 55 rushes are 10 more than he took last year, and it’s not on scrambles but part of the offensive gameplan for the 6-foot-5 quarterback with deceptive speed.

“Kind of reminds me of the Bills quarterback (Josh Allen),” Baker said. “They use (Jones) in the run game. He’s a great quarterback, has the arm talent to throw far, throw deep, intermediate, quick game.”

After a full practice Friday, Jones is officially questionable to play Sunday against Arizona.

Judge remained “fairly optimistic” Jones could play after increasing his work load at the end of the week.

“We ramped him up a little bit, put him through a series of drills,” Judge told reporters Friday morning. “Look, I’ll say this: He’s getting better everyday, he’s working very hard with the trainers. Coming out of practice yesterday, there was some progress made.

“We had a long talk with him after practice, long talk with him this morning again. We’re going to kind of put him through it again today, see how his body responds … look I’m fairly optimistic, but at the same time, there’s a ways to go. Got to be fair to him.”

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