He finished with a career-high 402 yards passing and two touchdowns, and made several big throws on the game-winning drive in overtime that concluded with a 6-yard touchdown run by Saquon Barkley.
The Giants (1-3) needed every bit of it in a game they played without wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton and starting middle linebacker Blake Martinez. They relied on Jones to win their first game of the season.
“He had a heck of a game,” coach Joe Judge said of his quarterback.
Jones has played really well this season, with only two turnovers in four games. The turnovers are what hurt Jones his first two professional seasons.
His teammates say the world is finally starting to see what they already believe they have with their quarterback.
“He showed them what we’ve been [seeing]. Hopefully you started seeing it too,” Barkley said. “Ever since the day he’s been drafted he’s been criticized. That guy does nothing but come in and work and get better and lead every single day. He’s a competitor. He showed today he’s a special player.
“We knew he was a special player.”
When the Giants needed it most in New Orleans, Jones validated Barkley’s beliefs. He made all the throws.
Jones hit Barkley for a 54-yard touchdown down the left sideline when the Giants were down 21-10 with just over seven minutes remaining
He led the Giants down the field for the tying field goal in the final three minutes
He went 5-for-5 for 67 yards on the winning drive in overtime, which included a clutch third-and-5 strike to wide receiver Kenny Golladay that put them inside the 5-yard line and set up the winning score
Jones went 14-of-19 passing for 203 yards with a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime combined.
“Man, that was a great performance by Daniel!” rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney said after having the most productive afternoon of his young career. “Nobody in the locker room doubts him no matter what, whether he had a bad game or a good game. There is never no doubt there because we know at the end of the day our faith is the strongest belief we have.”
It’s not just Sunday that went well for Jones. He has played well from the get-go this year, in a season that many labeled make or break for the young quarterback.
Jones, 24, has completed 66.6% of his passes this season with four touchdowns and one interception. The interception came on a Hail Mary at the end of Sunday’s first half. He also has lost just one fumble and rushed for two touchdowns.
All this while excelling when he throws the deep ball. Jones entered Sunday with the second-highest completion percentage on throws of at least 15 air yards, per ESPN Stats and Information. He went 8-of-11 for 229 yards and two touchdowns with the interception on those throws against the Saints, setting career highs in completions and yards. He was 3-of-4 passing on those throws in the fourth quarter and overtime in a performance that should open some eyes.
“This is my first year with him and always say in the offseason I see the work he puts in,” Golladay said. “I see how great he wants to be. Today he went out there very competitive and he had a day.
“It’s not so much what I learned about him. It’s what I knew he was capable of doing.”