I love when coaches get credit for a quarterback’s success. Great coaches can make good QBs look great and make great QBs look all-time. However, when all they have in the kitchen is hot dogs and Hormel chili, the best outcome is a chili cheese dog and a greasy shit down the road.
So when writing headlines — or repurposing AP content for your website — any logic that puts Daniel Jones and Josh Allen in the same phrase because Brian Daboll migrated across New York from Buffalo is flawed. (Unless it’s like my headline which specifically stated that Jones will not be Allen.)
The Bills’ star play-caller is an exception, not a standard. He’s built like a tight end and miraculously fixed his accuracy — even if he did take a step back in completion percentage last year (down to 63 percent from nearly 70 in 2020). While people can point to a couple of years ago when Jason Garrett thought it was a good idea to use Jones like he was Cam Newton, he should never have more than 400 yards on the ground in a season. Both are 6-foot-5, but Allen is a thicc boy compared to Jones and has never had a year with less than 400 yards rushing.
A “breakout” season for Jones looks more like Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee than a trajectory toward the elite echelon of NFL quarterbacks. The current Titan’s best year in a Dolphins uniform was in 2014 when he tallied 27 TDs, 12 interceptions, and a little more than 4,000 yards during 16 starts en route to a .500 record.
The high mark for Danny Dimes is his rookie season when he put up 24 TDs, 12 picks, and 3,027 yards while going 3-9 in 12 starts.
Now, the good part about Tannehill is he can win a bad division under the right coach, alongside a great running game, and with a stout safety net/defense. After the past few hellacious maelstroms masquerading as NFL seasons, I know Giants fans would take a 30-13 record in 43 starts across three seasons with a 66-28 TD-INT ratio, three trips to the playoffs, and a couple of division titles.
That assumes Daboll is the next Mike Vrabel, Saquon Barkley reaches heights he’s never sustained, and a defense that was stingy a couple of years ago regains its stinginess. Cue the laugh track from East Rutherford to L.A. *Waits an uncomfortably long time for the crowd to subside.* Yeah, I know, that’s probably not happening, but it’s a more realistic scenario than Jones vying for the title of best young quarterback in the league.
The kicker to this is Tannehill has shown his true, greenish-brown-hued colors in the playoffs. A No. 1 overall seed in 2021, Tennessee was one and done, losing to eventual AFC champion Cincinnati, 19-16. The year before that, they also were out after a single game, managing only 13 points against Baltimore in the Wildcard round. The most successful playoff run from Tannehill came in his first season as a Titan when they knocked off New England and Baltimore before blowing two separate 10-point leads and allowing Kansas City to score 28 straight in a 35-24 AFC championship loss that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
In those three playoff losses, Tannehill is a combined 54-81 for 594 yards, four TDs, and four interceptions, per Pro Football Reference. That’s not even 200 yards per game. Good-to-great coaches can’t keep average quarterbacks from repeatedly defecating in the playoffs. Ask Bill Belichick. That’s why Tennessee drafted Malik Willis in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
It’s also why the Giants should’ve moved on from Danny Dimes after last season. In order for the team to maximize him, they need a Titans-ian level of infrastructure, and Barkley sure as hell isn’t Derrick Henry, it’s yet to be seen if Daboll in Vrabel, and 2020 seems like more of an outlier for the defense.
I’ll close with this: There are rumors connecting New York to the Jimmy Garoppolo trade talks, which have led to hysterical headlines such as “Daniel Jones silences Jimmy Garoppolo talk with strong Day 6 of camp.”
If a guy is in a quarterback competition with someone who’s not even on his roster, then he doesn’t get to be mentioned in the same sentence, paragraph, article, or headline as Josh Allen.