Daniel Jones’ offense struggles in ‘decent’ Giants scrimmage

The promising news for the Giants is that linebacker Lorenzo Carter resembled Lawrence Taylor in the first half of Friday night’s Blue-White scrimmage at MetLife Stadium.

The discouraging flip side was that rookie Andrew Thomas and the offensive line played a part in making Carter look that dominant in a shaky initial game-situation performance by second-year quarterback Daniel Jones and the Big Blue offensive unit.

Jones and the other QBs were wearing red non-contact jerseys, but the former Duke star still was “sacked” five times — with Carter recording 4.5 of them — in two quarters.

With no preseason games scheduled this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue team (offense) ultimately defeated the White squad (defense) 23-22 in a scoring system that awarded the D three points for a three-and-out series or turnover and one for any forced punt.

Daniel JonesAP

“I thought we were decent overall, but we’ve got to improve and clean up a lot of stuff,” said first-year head coach Joe Judge, who spent the entire night on the offensive sideline. “There was a way we managed the game in terms of the tempo of the first half. We weren’t tackling to the ground, so there was a large part of our running game we weren’t trying to hammer.

“We chose to keep this a little vanilla, so that takes a little of the tools you can use [to help the offensive line] through game-planning away.”

Indeed, Judge didn’t veer too deeply into offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s playbook in what amounted to a controlled scrimmage.

Wayne Gallman broke a 43-yard TD run for the second-team offense in the first quarter and added a 5-yard score with the reserve group in the third quarter.

Jones, the eighth overall pick in the 2019 draft, unofficially finished 8-for-11 for 88 yards in two quarters of action, but the offense was forced to punt on four of his five drives and only scored on a Graham Gano field goal late in the first quarter.

“I don’t think we were consistent enough through the course of the scrimmage and we left some plays out there,” Jones said. “We’re in a good spot for where we are in camp.”

With barely two weeks until the regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Judge still has some work to get the Giants ready for the first Monday night game of 2020 following a lackluster initial showing under the Friday night lights.

“I’m glad we are not at the point we need to be because every single week we need to improve,” Saquon Barkley said. “No concern from me, no concern from our team.”

Free-agent signing and starting linebacker Blake Martinez and center Spencer Pulley did not dress, while Evan Engram was in uniform but did not play. Safety Jaquarius Landrews also sat out, and rookie cornerback Darnay Holmes left the scrimmage with a lower body injury. Gano was 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts, including a 41-yarder as time expired.