Jones was near perfect Friday night, completing 8 of 9 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown in leading the Giants to a 21-19 victory over the Panthers.
His TD pass covered 4 yards to Daniel Bellinger and he hooked up three times for with 30 yards with exciting tight end Darren Waller in a series that might have New York fans dreaming of 30 points a game.
“I thought we did some good things,” said Jones, who is entering his fifth season and is coming off a breakout year in which he helped New York reach the playoffs. “I thought we executed pretty well. A couple plays, could sharpen up a few things there, we’ll look to do that. But overall, I thought we executed well.”
The only pass that Jones threw that was incomplete was a drop by Waller, who promised to make it up to his quarterback down the road.
Waller was very impressed with how fast the offense got off the blocks in its first action after sitting out the opening game against the Lions.
“It's not an easy thing to do,” he said.
Backup Tyrod Taylor threw a 33-yard TD pass to big-play rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt, while Eric Gray scored on a 9-yard run for New York (1-1). The Giants rested star running back Saquon Barkley for the second straight week.
Young, who did little in his NFL debut last week against the Jets, showed flashes and put points on the board for the first time, taking the Panthers (0-2) on a 15-yard, 62-yard drive that Matthew Wright capped early in the second quarter with the first of his two field goals.
“I feel like there’s there’s always room for improvement,” Young said. “It’s about trying to keep growing day by day. So I think the more reps and more experience you get, to go up against another team, that’s a valuable experience for me, especially in this league.”
Young played two series and was 3 of 6 for 35 yards. His best throw was a 15-yard toss to Jonathan Mingo on a play the former Alabama star read a blitz by Wink Martindale's defense and found the hot receiver.
“It was a good read, and I think he was seeing it really well,” Panthers coach Frank Reich said. “They did blitz a few times. I think we made the right protection calls every time. I just felt like he was comfortable and poised in the pocket and seeing what he was supposed to see.”
With veteran Andy Dalton sidelined, third-string quarterback Matt Corral led the Panthers 66-yard drive that Raheem Blackshear capped with a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Fourth-string quarterback Jake Luton made things interesting with a 20-yard TD pass to Gary Jennings with 6:47 to play.
The Giants had 10 penalties for 82 yards. The Panthers had eight for 64. Both teams took advantage of fourth-down gambles to score touchdowns. Gray's touchdown came after rookie lineman Jordan Riley stopped Spencer Brown on a fourth-and-1 from the Carolina 48. Luton's TD pass came after the Giants were stopped on a fourth-and-1 just inside Carolina territory.
Panthers: Host Detroit in the preseason finale next Friday night.
Giants: Host the Jets on Aug. 26 in the annual preseason game between the co-owners of MetLife Stadium.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
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