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5 Good Questions with Big Blue View: Is Daniel Jones the Giants long-term answer at QB?

Time to get the intel on the New York Giants!

Every week, we take some time to exchange questions with the folks from the SB Nation website for this week’s Minnesota Vikings opponent, and this week is no exception.

In preparation for our Christmas Eve tilt with the New York Giants, yours truly has gotten the opportunity to exchange questions with Ed Valentine, the managing editor for Big Blue View, SB Nation’s home for everything relating to Giants’ football. Once Ed posts the answers to the questions that I sent him, I’ll put them on the front page here. In the meantime, here are the questions that I sent Ed’s way along with his answers.

1) The Giants declined the fifth-year option on the contract of QB Daniel Jones, and he’s responded with what has been the best season of his career to this point. Does he still have a chance to be the long-term answer at quarterback for the Giants or has that ship sailed?

Jones absolutely has a chance to stick around. At the beginning of the season, I wrote that there was a chance but the odds were stacked against him. Now? I think it would be a huge surprise if the Giants DON’T try to bring him back. He doesn’t have huge numbers, but he is dealing with a still-developing offensive line and a battered group of receivers that wasn’t great to begin with. He has taken care of the ball, played with toughness, made big plays with his feet and his arm when he has had to. He has done everything the Giants have asked him to do. Now, is he worth mega-money? Maybe not, but there has to be a middle ground.

2) Like the Vikings, the Giants have a rookie head coach this season in Brian Daboll. What has he done for the Giants this year to help engineer what has been a largely unexpected turnaround?

Everything. That would be the simple, one-word answer. First, Daboll hired a quality, experienced NFL coaching staff and then he got out of their way and let them do their jobs. Joe Judge hired a bunch of his buddies, most of whom had no NFL experience, and then micro-managed everything. His staff has done a fantastic job figuring out what players can do and letting them do it — while not asking them to do what they aren’t good at. Daboll has been aggressive and played to win, showing confidence in players and building their confidence. Another change. His personality, and also that of GM Joe Schoen, have also changed the feeling around the Giants’ building.

3) The biggest dilemma that defenses face when they play Minnesota is stopping Justin Jefferson. Do the Giants have anyone in their secondary they might use to “shadow” Jefferson and, if not, how do you think the Giants will try to stop him?

Well, if cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was playing he might shadow Jefferson. Not that it would work. Jackson, though, continues to be out with a sprained MCL he suffered returning a punt a few weeks ago. How will the Giants cover Jefferson? Of course I think they will roll coverages toward him and double him when they can. Mostly, though, I think they will just try to pressure Kirk Cousins as much as possible and stop him from throwing the ball in Jefferson’s direction.

4) Give us one “under the radar” player on each side of the football for the Giants that you think will play a big role in this game.

On offense, wide receiver/punt returner Richie James is having a career year. He leads Giants wide receivers in receptions.

On defense, second-year safety Jason Pinnock has done a really nice job replacing Xavier McKinney after his bye-week incident in Cabo.

5) Our friends at the DraftKings Sportsbook have a weekly special for this week’s game, with a combination of Justin Jefferson getting 100+ receiving yards and Saquon Barkley getting 100+ rushing yards on the board at +400. Would you take that bet? If not, which part of that equation do you think comes up short?

I would. My guess is if one of the two fell short it would be Barkley. He hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since getting 152 vs. the Houston Texans in Week 10. He did have 87 last week vs. Washington, running really well at the end of the game.

Thanks again to Ed for taking the time to answer our questions for this week’s game.