EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Oh, no. Not again, Daniel Jones.
Yes, again. The turnovers, the head-scratching plays, the mistakes that make it nearly impossible for this talent-bereft New York Giants team to win games keep happening.
Jones had two more costly turnovers in Monday night's 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It increased his season total to 13 in eight games. It also fueled the doubt that he's the franchise quarterback the Giants thought they drafted at No. 6 overall last year, even if he almost engineered a comeback with two fourth-down conversions and a dime to Golden Tate for a touchdown that made it a two-point game with 28 seconds remaining.
The Giants (1-7) still came up short, failing on a 2-point conversion pass to running back Dion Lewis that originally was flagged for pass interference. But after the officials met, they picked up the flag and the Giants suffered another demoralizing loss.
It still all comes back to Jones. The interceptions proved fatal.
"You know the young quarterback, he's still trying to do too much," said Bucs coach Bruce Arians, who knows a little something about mistake-prone quarterbacks after working with Jameis Winston last season. "It cost them basically the ball game throwing those two picks."
That's part of the enigma that is Daniel Jones. There are flashes of brilliance, like on that final drive, surrounded by costly mistakes. Jones now has nine straight games with at least one turnover. His second against the Bucs allowed Tom Brady & Co. to take the lead for good in the fourth quarter.
The Giants still say they are unequivocally committed to the second-year quarterback.
"Daniel is our quarterback," coach Joe Judge said. "What we have to do is just make sure we keep improving everything around him and that we coach every player the same way. I told Daniel on both times the play happened, tonight I just told him to stay patient with it, stay committed with it, we're going to need you down the stretch, we need you to make plays, and obviously on that final drive he made a lot of big plays for us. ... We all have to hold ourselves accountable, the man next to us accountable.
"But Daniel is our quarterback. Clearly put."
The turnover count for Jones is up to 35 in 20 career starts, a pace matched in the past 22 years by only former San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf.
It's getting tiring. Redundant was a word Judge used to describe his quarterback's mistakes. Jones didn't disagree either.
"Yeah, I think there is a number of situations that are similar," he said. "I think I need to improve. I've got to learn and correct those mistakes. That is where my focus is and I've got to do it."
The Giants had a prime opportunity to pull an upset. They had an 11-point lead late in the first half, but that started to disappear when Jones threw his first interception on the second play of the third quarter. They had the lead in the fourth until Jones' second interception was converted into a Brady-to-Mike Evans touchdown that made it 22-17 midway through the quarter.
On the Giants' second offensive play of the second half, Jones saw Tampa Bay defensive end Shaq Barrett coming from the edge. But he held on to the ball too long, allowing Barrett to hit him from behind as he fluttered a pass that was easily intercepted by cornerback Carlton Davis. Jones missed a wide-open Darius Slayton down the left sideline on the play.
The Bucs took over at their 42-yard line and eventually settled for a field goal. It was a crucial swing, but not as big as the second interception. That turnover came on a play when Jones was under duress and should have thrown the ball into the ground. Instead, he tried to make a throw to Tate that wasn't there with the Giants driving and leading 17-15 with 9:02 remaining.
"I think those were costly mistakes for us," Jones said when asked if the interceptions cost them the game. "It's something I have to continue to work on and improve. I understand that."