EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Turnover machine. That is what Daniel Jones has become early in his New York Giants career, and it was costly in Sunday’s wet 27-21 loss to Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium.
The Cardinals (3-3-1) turned a Jones interception and two fumbles into 17 points. It proved to be the difference in the matchup between the top two quarterbacks taken in this year’s draft.
Murray threw for 104 yards and ran for 28 more in a driving rain most of the afternoon, but did not have a turnover. Jones had 223 yards passing with a touchdown but had the interception and two costly fumbles, including one with less than three minutes remaining.
It’s the continuation of a troubling trend for the Giants’ rookie. He has 12 turnovers this season and 11 in his five starts. Jones has thrown at least one interception in four straight games and has six touchdown passes and seven interceptions this season.
Some of it is understandable considering he’s a rookie under relentless pressure (sacked eight times by the Cardinals) who is learning on the job. That’s the whole point of him playing this season instead of Eli Manning. But it’s something he’ll need to improve drastically moving forward if the Giants (2-5) are going to become a winning team.
It’s hard to win with a turnover differential at minus-9. The Giants came into Sunday 31st in turnover differential and were minus-2 against the Cardinals.
Pivotal play: Michael Thomas burst up the middle and blocks Andy Lee‘s punt in the end zone. Elijhaa Penny jumps on it in the end zone for the touchdown. It put the Giants back in the game, making it 17-14 before halftime despite an awful start.
As I was told during the week, “Watch out for the Giants special teams.” They were ticked coming into the game after allowing a blocked punt for a touchdown and seeing their special teams rankings having been knocked down a few pegs in recent weeks.
The Giants entered this week 25th in Football Outsiders’ special teams rankings. They finished third last season.
Troubling trend: Coach Pat Shurmur lost a challenge in the first quarter trying to get a pass interference call against Janoris Jenkins where it appeared that Arizona’s Trent Sherfield tripped on the play. The officials declared that the 25-yard penalty would stand after a review.
Shurmur, who promised an “epic” rant on the officiating and the new rule that allows teams to review pass interference penalties, is now 0-for-5 on replay challenges this year. He’s 0-for-4 on pass interference challenges.