Daniel Jones needs to sit.
The Giants’ second-year quarterback must be benched.
Not for the season.
Not for the rest of the month.
Just for their next game, Sunday at Washington.
Jones needs a jolt to his system from head coach Joe Judge in an effort to snap him out of this ghastly turnover habit that’s going to shorten his promising career if it doesn’t stop soon.
You know those athletes who say they never realized how much they appreciated the game until it was taken away from them?
Well, Jones needs to feel that now, if only for a game.
“Danny Dimes” is costing the Giants too many games. It’s been going on for too long and shows no signs of stopping.
Jones, for all of his tantalizing skills, is the most constant reason the Giants continue to lose, as much a reason they’re 1-7 at the turn as anyone on their roster — the team’s leaky two-minute defense and inconsistent first-round draft pick, tackle Andrew Thomas, included.
His two interceptions in Monday night’s two-point loss to the Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium cost the Giants their second win of the season. Simple as that. The picks led to 10 Tampa Bay points. This you cannot do when you’re playing against Tom Brady, because Tom Brady is going to make you pay every time.
Now Jones needs to pay for his sins, if only for one game.
It’s obvious that he’s sick about his gaffes, which Judge on Monday night called “redundant.” It’s clear that he cares. But there have to be consequences for Jones’ actions. In this case, those consequences should be sitting for a game.
What are the Giants losing by benching Jones for a game? They’re 1-7 and sinking. They’re not going to make the playoffs.
Judge needs to use this as a teaching moment for Jones. And he can afford to do so, because how much worse is 1-8 than 1-7 — if the Giants even are to lose to a bad Washington team (2-5) Sunday with Colt McCoy at quarterback for them.
Jones’ backup is a capable, 10-year veteran. It’s not like the Giants would be starting some raw rookie who doesn’t know the system and is a liability to get himself killed.
You think Bill Parcells would keep writing Phil Simms’ name on the lineup card if he was turning the ball over at the rate Jones has been?
Jones now has turned the ball over 35 times in his 20 career starts. That’s a pace matched in the past 22 years by only Ryan Leaf. There isn’t a quarterback alive that wants his name occupying the same sentence as Ryan Leaf.
One-and-a-half turnovers per start from a quarterback is not a winning football formula. Consequently, Jones owns a 4-16 win-loss record. He is what his record says he is.
Jones gave the ball away 22 times last season and already has 13 turnovers in eight games this season. He’s become like that little boy who keeps spilling his milk, shows remorse when he knows he’s done wrong and then does the same thing the next day and the next day.
Maybe sitting and watching for a game will bring some clarity to Jones, help him see the game better, see what he needs to do when under duress — throw the damn ball away.
It can’t hurt. What does Judge have to lose? He’s not going to lose Jones psychologically for the season, because Jones isn’t that kind of player. Jones has the capability of bouncing back, looking at this as a learning moment and moving on a better, smarter player.
Jones is an enigma, a tantalizing tease. Monday night’s game encapsulated his young career.
His play on the Giants’ final possession with no timeouts and the clock bleeding away, converting two fourth downs and delivering the perfect strike to Golden Tate in the back of the end zone to make it 25-23 Tampa before the game-tying two-point failed, was Jones showing the world how dynamic he can be.
But his two INTs, forced passes into coverage, are reasons to doubt how much longer the coaches can put up with this.
We’ve approached the point with Jones and Judge where the famous Albert Einstein saying becomes more relevant than ever: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Shake it up, Joe Judge. Sit Jones for a game.
“We all have to hold ourselves accountable,” Judge said after the game.
Then be true to your words, hold your quarterback accountable and bench him this week.