Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls
up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
JONES HAS BETTER CHANCE OF PLAYING THIS WEEK ...
AND WHY DIDN'T MARTINEZ EARN
A SPOT ON THE PRO BOWL TEAM?
If you thought Baker Mayfield
and Kyler Murray were problems for the Giants, just wait for Lamar Jackson to
get started Sunday afternoon.
Baltimore Ravens' quarterback, yet another first-round draft choice (2018) and
so far this season he has completed 215 of 332 passes for 2,461 yards and 21 touchdowns
- and he has rushed 135 times for 828 yards (that's 6.1 per trip) and scored seven
The 6-2, 215-pound product of
the University of Louisville (yep, that's where Johnny Unitas played before he
went on to Baltimore) is more of a threat than the last two first rounders the
Giants have played (and lost to), Murray and Mayfield.
So what about their quarterback, Daniel Jones, who missed last week's loss to
Cleveland because of a sprained Achilles tendon and a sprained ankle? Will he
He is optimistic, although the
choice, ultimately, isn't his. "I'm closer every day and feeling better every
day. I'm just trying to heal up as fast as I can," he said Wednesday. "I'm feeling
better and need to keep doing what I'm asked to do, doing what I'm supposed to
do, working with the trainers and making sure I keep going in that direction.
"My approach every day is to do what they ask me to do. I don't know about evaluating
what I can and can't do. I'm going to do everything I can and let people guide
me and control the rehab program as far as what I'm allowed to do and how hard
I push it. My job is to work as hard as I possibly can."
coach Joe Judge, who decided not to use Jones last week even though the quarterback
insisted he was ready, looks at the situation this way: "In a perfect world, I'd
love to have an answer as soon as possible. But I'm not going to set a time mark
on this. We'll come out of Friday after practice with some kind of an answer.
"But we're just going to throw Daniel out there and let him practice, see how
he does. We've gotten good feedback from him and the trainers, but again, we'll
have to put him out there and see how he's moving around."
Giants, who are staggering 10½-point underdogs, are facing elimination (finally)
from the NFC East race if they lose. They are in second place, a game behind Washington,
but the Unnamed Team is playing 4-10 Carolina, kind of a team without a defense,
at home; the Giants, of course, are 5-9 and will be in Baltimore against the 9-5
But making the playoffs, however
important that may be to the fans, isn't quite as crucial to Judge in his long-range
vision. "I don't think our progress can be measured by whether or not we make
the playoffs," he said. "I'm not downplaying them, we're all here to compete.
We're all here for the highest prize in sports. I believe in keeping our sights
on the immediate goal and the long-term goal will take care of itself."
regardless of what happens on Sunday or in the division race, no matter who takes
the snaps from behind center in these last two games, Judge is certain on one
"Daniel is our quarterback,"
he said. "I have no doubt about that. Watching him work, watching the respect
he has in the locker room, watching him improve throughout this season, I think
he has a level of toughness and leadership and knowledge on the field that gives
us confidence to put him out there and build with him.
"I'm not going to point to one moment, but I can talk about this season and he
has definitely earned my respect. I made it hard on him from the beginning in
a lot of ways and he never blinked."
EXTRA POINTS - Five Giants were listed as "limited" in practice Wednesday. ... They
were Jones, tight end Evan Engram, cornerback Darnay Holmes, tackle Matt Peart
and wide receiver Golden Tate. ... Oh, one question about Engram: How is it he made
the Pro Bowl team and linebacker Blake Martinez, who is in the top three in tackles
in the NFL with 128, didn't?
can subscribe Dave's newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available
here. - Team Giants
- Send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
for a free week's worth of news!