The Daniel Jones experience makes roller coasters feel flat.
Thursday night's 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers provided the entire Jones adventure -- most of it a haunting ride.
The New York Giants' second-year QB made horrific throw after horrific throw, overshooting targets deep, missing passes wide or behind, sliding into pressure, forcing passes that were intercepted, and attempting many more that were almost intercepted.
And within all that darkness, there were small rays of light, like the pinpoint pass at the back of the end zone to Golden Tate in the final minutes to pull the Giants within a two-point try of forcing overtime. It was the type of throw that makes one think Jones can be a good quarterback.
Alas, the next play epitomized the Jones experience. After putting a great throw on the money, Jones hesitated too long and threw behind running back Dion Lewis an incomplete two-point attempt. The play brought out a penalty flag that was picked up, causing controversy as the Giants lost. Had Jones pulled the trigger on time, Lewis was wide open. And had the QB put the ball to the outside, Antoine Winfield Jr. would have had to run through Lewis to make the play. Jones' play was so bad it created a controversy.
On a night when the Giants defense played well, kept Tom Brady questioning himself, caused turnovers and kept the Bucs under wraps, the offense let Big Blue down. The main culprit was the quarterback.
Even Bucs coach Bruce Arians was willing to point out that fact.
"You know the young quarterback, he's still trying to do too much," Arians said of Jones, via Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News. "It cost them basically the ball game throwing those two picks."
Jones finished the game 25-of-41 passing for 256 yards, two TDs and two INTs. His numbers weren't all that different than Brady, who completed 28 of 40 for 279 yards and two TDs. The big difference was the GOAT didn't kill his club when things weren't going well.
Jones should have had well over 300 yards and potentially two more scores if he could have hit Darius Slayton early. Aside from missed shots, the two INTs completely changed the complexion of the game.
The Giants had a 14-6 halftime lead with the ball to open the third quarter when Jones' first INT led to a Bucs TD. Lead gone.
Big Blue bounced back to regain the lead with a field-goal drive, but Jones again made a disastrous decision to force a pass while under pressure, missed the target by three feet and was intercepted. The Bucs again turned the INT into a touchdown.
"I think those were costly mistakes for us, and they're something I have to continue to work on and improve. And I understand that," Jones said.
Turnovers aren't a new issue for Jones, who struggled with the same problem at Duke. Jones has 36 giveaways in 20 games in his career and at least one turnover in nine straight games.
"Ya know what, it sounds a little redundant when you put it that way, but we're just gonna keep on coaching it," coach Joe Judge said of the emphasis he and his coaches have tried to harp on the second-year QB.
Jones said: "The coaching's clear. I've got to do a better job applying it."
The truth of the matter is that if Jones doesn't turn the tide quickly, the Giants are going to be in a position to draft his replacement.
For now, Judge will ride the roller coaster.
"Daniel's our quarterback," Judge said. "We have to make sure we keep improving everything around him and that we coach every player the same way. We're not gonna tolerate everyone on the team having a one-off (mistake) type of deal. We've all got to hold ourselves accountable and the man next to us accountable. But Daniel's our quarterback -- clearly put."
The Giants deserved to win Thursday night -- except the quarterback.
Unfortunately for Big Blue, the most important position in sports is the one that let them down.