The inside story of NY Giants’ Daniel Jones’ one-handed catch vs. Panthers

Daniel Jones pulled down a one-handed catch on a trick play that sparked the NY Giants’ offense in a blowout win over the Panthers

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In the lead up to Sunday’s NY Giants game against the Carolina Panthers, New York’s quarterback coach Jerry Schuplinski went digging for a play that could spark the offense.

As it turns out, Schuplinski’s quest led him back to a play from his past that wound up being one of the most talked about plays of this NFL Sunday; quarterback Daniel Jones’ one-handed catch in the Giants’ 25-3 win.

“Jerry Schuplinski pulled that play out of the vault this week, but it isn’t like he invented the play,” NY Giants coach Joe Judge said after the game.

In New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles, Nick Foles handed the ball off to tight end Trey Burton, who hit Foles who was wide open in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown … Moments after the Patriots ran a similar play, that Tom Brady dropped.

“You look back at the Panthers’ game against Detroit, and they ran it against Detroit,” Judge explained. “It was part of their script.”

The play had been run by other teams, it had been practiced many times last week by the Giants, but it’s one thing to pull it off during a practice, it’s another for your quarterback — who was already withstanding a barrage of pressure and big hits, to pull down the catch in the game.

With 4:55 remaining in the third quarter, NY Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett called the play into Jones’ headset.

“You just have to trust in it, going through the same process you did all week,” Jones said. “Through the play, having to recognize the look we were getting, and trying to execute it how we practiced.”

 

Jones’ athleticism shined through on the play, both pulling down the one-handed reception and to hold on as he took a punishing hit along the sideline. Turns out, the outcome was the payoff from a week of practice for the play that was waiting for the right moment to be called.

“He didn’t drop any. We had a couple of errant throws. We kind of held some tryouts on the field. We knew Dante has baseball in his family, so I’m sure he isn’t invited to Thanksgiving in the future, if he doesn’t make that throw.”

Pettis, whose father is the Houston Astro’s’ third base coach, made the throw.

But, The play wasn’t perfect, by any stretch.

“I think Daniel slowed up on the route a bit,” Pettis joked. “And that’s a no-no.”

Echoed Jones “I’ve been on the other end of that, and I’ve gotten mad at guys [not running full speed]. Dante put it out there for me,” Jones said. “I just tried to pull it in. Good play, good design, something we worked on all week.”

Six plays later, Jones returned the favor, hitting Pettis for a five-yard touchdown that extended the NY Giants’ lead to 12-3.

Inside the locker room, Jones, who played high school basketball and who’s brother plays for coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, is viewed by his teammates as a high-end athlete. Sunday, he got another chance to show why.

“Everybody talks about Daniel being a good basketball player,” NY Giants safety Logan Ryan said. “We still haven’t lined it up on the court. I know his brother plays at Duke, which is better than where my brother plays now on the couch … But, Daniel’s a competitor. He shows it.

“He puts his body on the line. He was our QB 1 today, RB 1 today, and wide receiver No. 1. He did whatever it took, sealed the game how you should, and it was a confidence-building win.”

While the NY Giants might not have invented the play that will now be part of Daniel Jones lore, so long as he’s the organization’s franchise quarterback and maybe long after, it was called in the perfect moment in a game that this team desperately needed to have.

“You don’t have to invent the wheel to drive the car fast,” Judge said. “It’s all about how you prepare.”