EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — All the hope Joe Judge generated with a strong second-half finish to his rookie season as New York Giants coach is gone.
If there is any doubt, take another look at the Giants’ embarrassing 30-10 loss to Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.
The game was not competitive. Not even close. Pat Graham’s defense was shredded by Brady and company. Jason Garrett’s offense was worse, turning in season lows in points, yards and time of possession as New York fell to 3-7 with seven games to play.
Instead of throwing his team under the bus, Judge pinned the blame on his coaching staff after the game. Garrett bore the brunt on Tuesday, being fired after less than two years on the job.
“This is simply a move to make sure that I make the best decision for the team,” Judge said Tuesday. “Right now, we have to do things to be more productive on offense and score more points and we have to do something to change it up. And this is the time we decided to make it.”
While the move seemed imminent after Judge spoke on Monday night, it’s hard to say whether changing play callers will help. While the Giants are getting a couple of skill players back from injury with Saquon Barkley (ankle) and Kenny Golladay (knee) returning, the team on Sunday will have mostly the same players who will be working with elements of the old playbook.
“Ultimately, when you have to do something to help the team, it doesn’t matter when it happens, you just have to go ahead and do it,” Judge said.
“Ultimately, we felt this was the best time. There’s not really ever an ideal time to make a change like this in a season. You know, you don’t really want to have to do this, but you have to make whatever decision is best for the team.”
If things work out, the Giants will score more points and maybe win a few more games. If not, they’ll continue to lose and the season will be over long before the final game is played in early January.
Not much. The only aspect that performed well against the Bucs was special teams. Punter Riley Dixon averaged a 46-yard net on four punts, landing three inside the 20. Graham Gano was automatic, hitting a 37-yard field goal and an extra point. Gano is 20 of 22 on field goals this season.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Everything else. The pass rush was nonexistent. Tom Brady threw 46 times and was not sacked. The Giants had three quarterback hits. The decimated offensive line was a sieve, allowing two sacks and nine quarterback hits. It would have been a lot more if quarterback Daniel Jones hadn’t used his quick feet to escape danger a few times.
Andrew Thomas. The left tackle returned after a stint on injured reserve with ankle and foot injuries and caught a touchdown pass. He also was the lone member of the line who fared well for the most part against the Bucs front.
Will Hernandez. The right guard was called for two holding penalties on the same second-half drive. He just had a bad game.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and wide receiver Kadarius Toney (quad) left the game. There was no update on their injuries on Tuesday.
65 — The number of points the Giants have scored combined in five of their seven losses. In those setbacks, the offense has put up 13, 14, 11, 17 and 10. In today’s NFL, not scoring much is a good way to lose.
The Giants have to find a way to get the offense in gear. Judge would not say who will call the plays on Sunday. Former Cleveland Browns coach and current senior offensive assistant Freddie Kitchens would be a good choice. The main problem is how does he help the injury-decimated line. Jones does not have the time to throw deep passes, and sometimes he does not have the time to throw short ones. Maybe some different plays will open things up. Establishing a running game also would help. Defensively, the Giants need to stop the Eagles’ running game.
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