Miami disaster proves Giants head coach Joe Judge's job shouldn't be safe

·5 min read
Joe Judge with pen in hat wearing blue jacket and sweatshirt
Joe Judge with pen in hat wearing blue jacket and sweatshirt

When you watch what transpired in Miami on Sunday for the Giants, it’s becoming increasingly hard not to wonder if Joe Judge’s post as head coach is guaranteed next season.

It’s only Year 2 for the former New England Patriots special teams coordinator with Big Blue, but troubling signs of clock mismanagement, and even worse, undisciplined football makes it hard to say Judge will be leading the way in 2022.

And this isn’t a reactionary thought after a poorly coached and poorly played game in the 20-9 loss to the Dolphins. This has been a topic of speculation for weeks now, and it’s only going to get worse for Judge unless something turns around.

The reason for the speculation is due to another GM likely taking the place of Dave Gettleman at the end of the season. This new GM will have to do his or her due diligence on everything from the front office, to coaching, to the current roster which brings even Judge into question.

And what that new GM will see is a Giants team that is currently undisciplined, especially on the offensive side of the ball, and Judge making too many mental mistakes himself when it comes to managing the game as a whole.

A prime example is in the first quarter against the Dolphins when the Giants offense believed a pass to Devontae Booker with 49 seconds left on the clock would end the period. But it didn’t. With 12 seconds left, the Giants were forced to burn a timeout because they would’ve received a delay of game penalty.

Entirely uncalled for.

Then, there’s the disastrous bit that came at the end of the third quarter. With the offense out there again, backup QB Mike Glennon, who had to start in place of Daniel Jones as he deals with a neck strain, missed a wide open John Ross on first and 10 from their own 27 yard line and followed it up by taking a 13-yard sack after rolling out of the pocket and just holding on to the ball.

If that wasn’t bad enough, a timeout had to be burned because a delay of game was about to be called again. What happens on the very next play out of a timeout? Another sack. And then, with third and 30 to go, another delay of game situation came up, this time with the refs throwing the flag and issuing the offense to move back another five yards.

Say what you want about the offense’s struggles, but this situation isn’t just poor execution. It’s a total lack of awareness and cohesion from an entire unit. And that has to be blamed on coaching at the end of the day.

On defense, credit must be given to defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who turned his ship around after a slow first few weeks of the season. They’ve been one of the best units in recent weeks in terms of points allowed and have been creating turnovers despite a lack of pass rush.

It’s mainly when the Giants have the ball that you see these snafus, which in today’s NFL isn’t a recipe for success with high-scoring games left and right. You can’t botch the moments you have a chance to score points. Judge made the call to fire offensive coordinator Jason Garrett because they weren’t doing just that, but more of the same has transpired since Freddie Kitchens took over play-calling duties.

No, Judge doesn’t have his hand on every play call and doesn’t deserve all the blame there. But overall, there’s a lot evidence elsewhere that could put Judge in a bad spot with a new GM.

Now would co-owner John Mara want to fire a third head coach in five years? Ben McAdoo didn’t last through his second season and Pat Shurmur was fired after two. Judge would follow Shurmur’s path if they do move on.

But one must remember that Judge is a first-time head coach in this position. There was always expected growing pains in his first season last year, but he seemed to have the pulse on what to do with this team.

However, his second stint now has shown an affinity to play conservative ball despite the Giants not being able to score, mismanaging timeouts, making sure to set the tone when its crunch time especially toward the end of halves, and as the Miami game proved, seeing total lapses of discipline and execution which has been a theme this season.

And here's some food for thought, too: Do you really want to keep Judge for the sake of continuity, or because you truly believe he's the right man for the job? The Giants should want to get this thing right, which means being honest with themselves in all aspects every year no matter if it's the head coach or depth cornerbacks.

There’s still some games left to turn that around and prove otherwise. But, with the potential for Jake Fromm to make his NFL debut due to Glennon being concussed now, it might get even worse for Judge’s Giants down the stretch.

And that would only make his job less secure at the end of the day.

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