The New York Giants are 0-2 to start the season for the fifth straight season and for the 8th time in 9 seasons. That is a stretch that goes unmatched in recent memory. There is much blame to go around in the first two games for the Giants this season. They got dominated at home by the Broncos and then lost a heartbreaker to the Washington Football team this past Thursday. This is supposed to be the season that things started going right for the G-Men. However, losing the first two games of the season is not the way you want to start. Who is to blame for the Giants slow start? Is Joe Judge already on the hot seat? What changes need to be made?
Coaching and Play Calling
Ever since Tom Coughlin moved on from the Giants, the head coaching position has been a relative carousel. They went with the out of the box hire with Joe Judge and he seemed to have a handle on the team that we have not seen since Coughlin. The biggest question mark on the coaching staff coming into the season was offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett. To put it bluntly, Garrett’s offense is slow, boring, and old-fashioned. It is not meant to succeed in today’s pass heavy NFL. It is a very conservative offense where they often play to not lose rather than to win.
That was evident in the fourth quarter of Thursday nights game. James Bradberry came up with an interception late in the fourth quarter at the Football Team’s 20. They ran the ball a few times up the middle and had to settle for a field goal giving their opponent another chance. Naturally, the Football Team drove down the field and hit a game winning field goal. If the offense was more aggressive, they at the very least, wasted some more of the clock. And for the best, they could have scored a touchdown to seal the game. Judge and Garrett have shown a tendency to be very conservative with their play calling, especially late in games when it really matters.
Underwhelming Defense so far
The star of the season last year was James Bradberry and the whole defense. They got the USC version of Leonard Williams and had great linebacker play from Blake Martinez. However, Patrick Graham’s defense has been very underwhelming so far through two games. They were supposed to be the side of the ball we didn’t have to worry about, but they have put up two stinkers through two games.
The main problem this year (as it has been in many years past) is the complete lack of a pass rush. That’s why players like Gregory Rousseau and Micah Parsons were linked to the Giants all offseason. Those are two guys who know how to get after the quarterback. Rookie, Azeez Ojulari, does have two sacks through the first two games. However, other than that, the Giants have had a lot of trouble getting to the quarterback.
Is Joe Judge on the hot seat?
I do not believe that any one person is on the “hot seat.” The Giants are a few more losses away from the whole coaching staff and front office getting fired and the franchise starting from scratch. The Giants have finally started making some smart moves through the draft by trading down when appropriate and selecting the right positional value. However, the wrong moves from previous off-season’s are still biting this team in the rear. The mistakes of previous regimes are not the fault of Joe Judge or Jason Garrett, but the fault of Dave Gettleman. This most recent draft was the first time he traded down EVER. He should have in 2018 if he didn’t plan on taking a QB with the second overall pick. The return for a trade like that could have set the team for long-term success.
If Joe Judge is not on the hot seat right now, what other changes can be made to turn this season around? I believe it comes down to more aggressive play calling. In Daniel Jones’s rookie season, they let the young man sling the football. To date, that was Jones’s best season. Jones regressed immensely when the conservative play calling started and being very cautious with letting him throw the ball down field. If the Giants want to win football games, they need to let their quarterback throw. They let him do that a bit on Thursday and that put them in a position to win the game. However, when it mattered the most, the conservative play calling came back to haunt them. They need to open the playbook a little further and get a bit more creative on offense. If they do that, I bet you start to see a few more Ws instead of Ls.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
Featured image courtesy of the New York Post
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