Can NY Giants continue improving turnover differential in 2021?
QB Daniel Jones, TE Evan Engram
Two players have been the major culprits of the offensive turnover troubles.
Daniel Jones’ fumbling problem is as bad as Evan Engram’s problem dropping catches. Jones now has two seasons under his belt, and in those two seasons he’s amassed 22 interceptions and 29 fumbles.
In both seasons Jones has played, he fumbled more than any other quarterback.
Football is a team sport, and the offensive line does absolutely nothing to help Jones. He was sacked 45 times in 2020, and had the second-highest sack percentage (9.1) in the league, behind only Carson Wentz.
But Jones is the quarterback, which means he is the leader. He alone can minimize the damage. A quarterback who instinctively knows to tuck the ball when he’s going down will serve his team far better than one who can’t, or won’t.
Of the five most-sacked quarterbacks in 2020, Jones leads in fumbles with 11. He also threw 10 interceptions; only Deshaun Watson had fewer among the five.
While Jones led quarterbacks in fumbles for the second consecutive season, he did cut back. He fumbled 18 times in his rookie campaign. He trimmed it down to 11 in his sophomore season, with one additional game played.
He also cut down on his interceptions, throwing 12 in his rookie season compared to 10 last season.
Jones understands that he holds an incredible responsibility in ball security, and his improvement, while minor, show that he is at the very least trending in the right direction. He can certainly use some help, which is something Evan Engram has not provided.
Despite being elected to the Pro Bowl, Engram had a rough year. He had the fewest yards per reception (10.4), receptions per game (3.9), yards per game (40.9), yards per target (6), and receiving touchdown total (one) across his four-year career. His catch percentage (57.8) was the second lowest.
What’s worse, Engram’s 2020 season spiked in bad statistics. He had a career high in drops (11 — as many as Jones’ fumble total) and drop percentage (10.1). He was directly responsible for six interceptions, another career-high.
Further, quarterbacks only had a passer rating of 55.4 when targeting Engram, which is a career low, and nearly half of what the total was the year before (99.3).
Engram embodies the new-age tight end, which is the traditional position crossed with a wide receiver. He was meant to be one of the primary weapons on this offense, and as a tight end, he should be a security blanket for Jones in check-down situations.
But Engram has proved he’s anything but a sure thing. If he continues to trend down, Jones will have that much tougher a time improving on his own problems.
Both need to improve their chemistry for this offense to click in 2021.