by Spiro Kasabian @nyspawtsguy_spi
In Joe Judge’s rookie season as a New York Giant Head Coach, he has always put the team in a position to win with his decisions. Aside from the San Francisco game earlier in the year, the Giants have been in every game and in a position to win. It was an impressive streak for a rookie coach in the NFL, however I truly believe that last Sunday was Coach Judge’s worst game as a Head Coach.
Now, many will say that Jason Garrett was just as much to blame, if not more. You would all have a very good case, as the game plan STUNK. Having said that, I think Judge put this offense and team in a position where they simply could not succeed. Judge watched Daniel Jones in practice all week and, somehow, concluded with Garrett that they could succeed running the same offense with Jones at 75% or less that he was running when healthy.
Sunday vs The Arizona Cardinals
From the very first play, you could tell that Jones was not functioning at a normal level. He was not taking his normal drops and the offense looked out of sync because of this. You then saw the domino effect of this as Jones was not going through his reads and holding on to the ball. The play below resulted in a first down, but you could tell Jones had some trepidation going too far back in his drop and planting on his injured leg.
Later in the game, when Jones was faced with a 2nd and 5 play, he had a clear chance to run for a first down (and a lot more), but instead ended up throwing the ball away. He was clearly directed not to run the ball. There were several other plays that Jones would have took off on, but instead stayed in the pocket, which resulted in negative plays.
Right now, Daniel Jones and this offense cannot succeed without his ability to run the ball and make plays with his legs. There simply is not enough talent on that side of the ball to keep the chains moving without #8 being a running threat.
With Wide Receivers and Tight Ends that have troubles separating, and a hobbled Jones in the pocket that lacks good pocket awareness, Jones was a sitting duck for Arizona pass rushers. As expected, the Cardinal Front Seven tee’ d off to the tune of 8 sacks. Judge’s decision was a disservice to Jones, who looked worried about the pressure and being able to escape while also waiting for his targets to get open.
The Cardinal defense simply stacked the box and played press coverage all day while blitzing an immobile Jones. It was shades of an Eli Manning offense all over again, and boy was it ugly. To make matters worse, Jones was injured on a sack later in the game and now has a sprained ankle to deal with.
Not Judge’s finest moment on Sunday.
Not only did Judge make the mistake of playing Jones while hurt to start the game, but he doubled down on the decision by not making a change at Halftime. Jones was clearly not himself and everyone could see that he was not going to make a difference with his legs. Judge said in a press conference that they were comfortable with Jones being able to perform with what they saw in practice. If what Jones did in the game is what he did in practice, then I really must question what the heck Judge was looking at all week.
Why not give McCoy a chance to run the offense and see if he could pick up an extra first down or two? At the very least, you would have a more confident player back there. Judge’s decision may have cost his team the game last Sunday, but as a rookie coach, things like this will happen. Let’s hope he has learned from this now and will not make the same mistake again in the future.