On social media, everyone is now acting like they knew it beforehand. But scroll back to 2019 draft night, when the New York Giants picked Daniel Jones, a baby-faced version of Eli Manning, seemingly on whim rather than actual football savvy.

Now in his fourth year, journalists are all clamoring for an interview with the Giants quarterback, who just won his first game of the playoffs. Suddenly all the pundits and social media are only talking positively about Jones.

The Giants quarterback is in the spotlight after many saw him playing the rest of his life on a neglected golf course somewhere in Carolina. But now Jones is with his Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs.

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When Brian Daboll arrived to take on the Giants as head coach in January, he pointed to Jones and said, “I can use this guy like the economy version of Josh Allen,” he did so with a certain degree of confidence.

Contrary to his boss: The Giants management had not exercised Jones’ option for the fifth year of his rookie contract. The general manager who drafted him (Dave Gettleman) “retired.”

So Jones will now be without a contract after the postseason. That’s not to say the Giants treated him badly — given the recent trend of dumping people like penny stocks, the fact that he survived four years in New York at all is a small miracle — but it’s a good example how things can change.

Because of that, this playoff football weekend was both wonderful and exciting at the same time. Both Jones and Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence ended their games with a graphic saying they were the first player in NFL history to achieve a new statistical peak.

In Jones’ case, he became the first player ever to have 300+ yards, 2+ touchdowns thrown, and 70+ rushing yards in a playoff game. Both brought their teams to the second round.

We should avoid the discussion and not put Jones on a pedestal like we’ve known all along. If anyone did, it’s Mike Kafka, the Giants’ offensive coordinator. We must recognize that it is unfair and irresponsible to evaluate talent until a quarterback is in a system that is intent on emphasizing their strengths.

We should stop using the word “bugs” as if it had anything to do with the people who can’t choose their employer. Of course the players are getting better.

Of course, Jones is better now than he was as a shaky rookie. Of course, the Vikings’ defense is among the worst in recent NFL history.

But the fact that this Giants team is still alive in the playoffs shatters so many of the thoughts we’ve had about quarterback Daniel Jones for years. If the 2022 NFL season showed anything, it’s that the league needs to be organized into clearer categories: those who can make the best of their situation and those who just can’t.

Daboll and Kafka are among those who can. Thank god for Jones. He’ll likely start next season with a new contract, a wide receiver listed before page 13 of our fantasy draft magazine, and a work we can appreciate for what it is.

Jones has always been a good quarterback. It only took the NFL four years to figure that out. It will be fun to pretend you always knew. We’re in good company this week.

This article was written by Conor Orr/SportsIllustrated USA

The original of this article “He was smiled at as a loser – but now only Daniel Jones is laughing” comes from Sports Illustrated Germany.