Maybe Baker Mayfield really was surprised when the Giants drafted Daniel Jones sixth overall. But nobody should be shocked anymore.
The 22-year-old rookie quarterback continued his stellar preseason by putting on another show in the Giants' third preseason game in Cincinnati on Thursday night. He completed 9-of-11 passes for 141 yards, playing the final 20 minutes of the first half.
Through three games, he's 25-of-30 (83.3 percent) for 369 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. That's a passer rating of 140.1.
And much like in the first two games, Jones was really better than the numbers indicated. He threw some incredible, pin-point accurate passes, including a couple downfield. He handled pressure that began to leak through his offensive line, and he did a masterful job of looking off defenders -- something rookie quarterbacks aren't able to so expertly do.
It was his ability to handle the pressure, though, that surely will be the talking point of this performance. He was absolutely hammered by Bengals linebacker Carl Lawson with about 8:35 left in the first half. He even fumbled, though receiver Brittan Golden recovered.
On the very next play, though, with Lawson streaking right at his face again, Jones stood tall in the pocket and unloaded a throw downfield a split second before he was hit. And it went 27 yards, right to rookie Darius Slayton at the one yard line, just inside the sidelines. It was a perfect throw (and a great catch) that led to a one-yard touchdown run by Rod Smith.
It was another sign of Jones' ability to handle adversity. But this time it was also a sign that the 6-foot-5, 221-pounder can not only take a hit, but can bounce right back up and make a play.
That wasn't his only outstanding play, either. Earlier in the game, given a little more time by his offensive line, he had time to look off the Bengals safety, turn the other way, and find Golden downfield. He put it in a spot where only Golden could catch it, right in front of the defender for a 35-yard gain.
Jones, of course, is still the backup to Eli Manning, who had a decent (albeit short) night himself. He went 4-for-8 for 41 yards, but he was undone by two drops by receiver Cody Latimer, including one in the end zone that forced the Giants to settle for a field goal on the opening drive.