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‘I have gotten a better idea of what wins in the NFL’

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New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones improved leaps and bounds in his fourth season, helping guide Big Blue to the precipice of a playoff berth.

Following the biggest win of his career Sunday night over Washington, Jones said the most significant improvement under Brian Daboll has come with learning how to win games.

“I think I have gotten a better idea of what wins in the NFL,” Jones said Tuesday, via ESPN. “A lot of times it’s not what you would think. I think it has a lot to do with taking care of the ball and staying in good situations for the offense and executing on critical downs and scoring in the red zone.

“I think I’ve improved a lot since my rookie year.”

Jones is averaging career highs in completion percentage (66) and passer rating (90.5) with three games to go in 2022. He’s one of three quarterbacks with 2,500-plus passing yards and 500-plus rushing yards this season (Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen).

The key to the quarterback’s play has been avoiding turnovers. After throwing double-digit interceptions in his first three seasons, Jones has just four in 2022, the fewest of any QB to start more than 10 games. He’s also mostly negated the fumbling issues that plagued his career.

“Yeah, I’ve improved in some of those decision-making situations,” he said. “Protecting the ball is a big part of the game at this position. So, I’ll try to keep doing that as well as I can.

“A lot of credit to our group. Guys, when you protect the ball, that is a group thing. Got to be on the same page, a lot trust in the receivers being in the right spots. They’ve done a good job with that. Good job by the coaches also. Yeah, it means a lot.”

The Giants can clinch a playoff berth with a win Sunday over the Minnesota Vikings and getting help elsewhere. At 8-5-1, Big Blue is in a great spot to earn a postseason bid if it doesn’t collapse down the stretch.

Jones’ improved play comes at a pivotal time for the quarterback. After the Giants declined his 5th-year option, he’s set to be a free agent after the season. Heading into 2022, it seemed New York was preparing to move on from Jones. He’s changed the narrative. With both Jones and Saquon Barkley heading toward free agency, the Giants have big decisions coming this offseason.

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