Pilgrim’s Point: Coaching Must Improve

BY Jeff Pilgrim @jeff_NYG

The Giants lost to the Arizona Cardinals 27-21 Sunday, marking their third straight loss and another frustrating performance.

Recent optimism has taken a back seat to genuine concern.  I’m not talking about our rookie quarterback or our defensive effort, I’m talking about our coach.  Pat Shurmur made another handful of head-scratching decisions while offering no help to Daniel Jones.  For the first time since he’s had the job, there is more than enough reason to believe he may not be cut out for this.  You can expect this narrative to continue as long as we see a lack of progression from our young quarterback and a failure to win close games.  If a team is always competitive but rarely finishing, you’ve got to look at the coach.

After having 10 days off, the Giants came out extremely flat and went down 17-0 in front of their home crowd.  This is unimaginable after going toe-to-toe with New England for three quarters the week before.

Let’s be honest, Daniel Jones didn’t look good.  Ball security is now priority 1 for the rookie.  He fumbled three times in this match and threw an interception on the opening drive.   He was sacked 8 times, four of them were courtesy of Chandler Jones.  It didn’t seem as though any adjustments were made to try and alleviate that pressure.  DJ seemed to be oblivious of the pass rush several times.  

Pat Shurmur must do a better job of helping our QB develop.  Playcalling should be catered to him in order to build his confidence.  Instead, Jones was under pressure constantly.

Red Flag Challenge

There is frustration throughout the league when it comes to replay challenges, but it’s worth noting that our coach is 0-5 this season and 2-8 in his Giants career.  He seems to keep the red flag in his pocket when you want him to throw it and then get it wrong when he finally does.  Every time we get a challenge wrong, we surrender a timeout.  For a team that’s seemingly always trailing in the 4th quarter, those timeouts become even more valuable.


From our own 30 yard line, 3rd and 18, the Giants were down 24-21 in the 4th quarter.  Pat Shurmur calls a draw play for Saquan Barkley which gained 3 yards.  This set us up for 4th and 15 in which Daniel Jones was assaulted for another sack and fumble.  You’ve got to do better than that, Pat.  The coach went on to defend that play call in the post-game conference.


Golden Tate!  He made several tough catches while in traffic.  He led the Giants with 6 catches for 80 yards.  With Sterling Shepard sidelined, Tate has become the most reliable receiver for Jones and their chemistry is developing.  He is a pro’s pro and is looking like a very smart acquisition at this point.

Special Teams – Michael Thomas blocked a punt in the Cardinals endzone which the Giants recovered for a touchdown.  This was a game-changing play that NY desperately needed to make up for the early deficit.

Pilgrim’s Point:  The Giants need an identity.

What kind of team are we going to be?  I hope our GM knows because the fan base certainly doesn’t.  We have a soft-spoken, “nice guy” coach who doesn’t seem to be instilling confidence in anybody.  We have a world-class running back and some good weapons on offense, but we’re not identifying as a run-first team.  The most successful teams in Giant’s history have had a ferocious pass rush and a great defense.  Our current team has neither.   

We cleared house to rebuild this year, so it’s important to keep that in mind.  We’re merely gathering ingredients at this point, trying to figure out what to put on the table.  I’m just not sure Pat Shurmur is the guy we want in charge.  With so many young players, we need an assertive coach who’s been there and done that.  It could spell disaster if you have a head coach that’s unsure of himself, and it looks like that’s what we’ve got.  Pat Shurmur is 17-39 overall as a head coach and is 7-16 as Head Coach of the Giants.

When you think of the best teams in the NFL, I don’t think the Cardinals make anyone’s list.  The Giants should have been able to put a better product out there on Sunday.  This season is about growing and improving, but this game was a step in the wrong direction.  The Giants have a chance to bounce back Sunday in Detroit, otherwise, the frustrated fan base will continue to call for Pat Shurmur’s job.

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