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Daniel Jones: Running His Way to Mediocrity

NFL: New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to the nflFastR project and NFL NextGen Stats for the timely sources of data.

For those of you new to this, I will publish key QB stats each week judging how well the Colts passing game performed. Yes, O-Line, receivers, and play-calling impact these numbers but they are primarily QB measures. I will probably modify the charts throughout the season. Commentary will be brief but feel free to let me know in the comments that stats aren’t everything. (click charts for larger view)

NOTE: All references to rankings are of the top 32 QBs by dropbacks through the current week.

Football Outsiders ranks Daniel Jones as the 3rd best QB at rushing, but only the 21st best at passing (DYAR). If it seems to you like that should blend into an average overall QB, then you are correct.

Overall, Jones has faced easy passing defenses (25th opd) and with Saquon Barkley, the Giants have one of the better run games in the league (11th aRSR). This should give him an advantage at throwing the ball, but if so it’s hard to discern.

This season, he has faced the 2nd most pressure (pr%) and a large part of that is a poor O-line that ranks 25th in Pass Block Win Rate. However, another significant variable is his 9th longest time to throw (ttt). When protection collapses, he relies on his legs with the 2nd highest scramble rate (scr%). Of course, that does not always work out as he also has the 7th highest sack rate (sk%) and the 9th largest throw away rate (ta%). That all culminates into the 2nd highest abandoned attempt rate of any QB (aa%).

When he does manage to actually throw passes, they have the 29th average depth (adot) and translate to the 26th longest completions by air yards (ay/c). He has good accuracy (9th cpoe) and his receivers get average-ish yac (17th yac, 16th yacoe), so he manages the 24th ranked YPA.

His scrambles actually average better yardage than his passes (7.5 yds) and because he is a good runner, he can keep the negative yardage on sacks low (5th shortest). This minimizes the impact of his abandoned plays and keeps his net yardage efficiency ranking from dropping any further (24th ny/d).

He’s the best in the league at not turning the ball over (32nd to%), almost worst at getting TDs (27th td%) and about average at getting first downs (16th 1st%). So, that all spans the gamut.

He has the overall 16th ranked EPA efficiency (epa/d). Add to that the 15th ranked Passing Success rate (psr) and that makes him the king of average QB production. Although Tom Brady might fight him for that crown.


Jones had some good games earlier in the season, but his last 5-6 games have been nothing to write home about.


Short passing depth with short completion depth needs accuracy and great YAC to make it work. The accuracy is there, but not the YAC.


Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton and Richie James pretty much split the bulk of targets, but Slayton is obviously the deeper threat.


Overall, Jones has good, albeit highly variable, accuracy.


He is consistently longer than average in throwing time and with such short passes, that is a bad combo. That suggests he either can not find open receivers or he is unwilling to throw to them.


Everything is just mostly meh, but the left side of the field has provided him the most success.