Joe Judge has slew of problems to fix after Giants’ gut-punch

It is a great time to be a Giants fan.

Go out and embrace your freedom. The weather, seasonal and sun-splashed, presents myriad outdoor opportunities, whether your desire is to cling to the vestiges of summer or embrace the refreshing hint of autumn.

Be emboldened that you cannot get hurt this Sunday. Not by your Giants. They cannot lift you up only to drop you on your head. They cannot kick you in the stomach. There’s no need to fear that anger or frustration or disappointment will infiltrate your psyche, no chance the team you cannot quit will do something on the field that leads to derision and scorn.

You are free. The Giants cannot touch you this weekend.

There is serenity in the Giants bottling up and pouring out their latest losing formula on a Thursday night. This is a welcome respite. There are 10 days between the ridiculous (Is there any other word for how many ways this franchise finds ways to fail?) 30-29 loss to Washington and the next time they are required to play. This is good for everyone who cares about the Giants. Misbehaving preschoolers often need a time-out to settle down. Consider this, thankfully, a time-out on the Giants.

It is not, however, a timeout for Joe Judge. He is 18 games into his head-coaching tenure with the Giants and faces for the first time … something. A crossroads? Not exactly. A crisis point? Not really. An inflection point? He sure hopes so.

Head coach Joe Judge of the New York Giants reacts
Giants coach Joe Judge doesn’t get the weekend off after the latest calamity.
Getty Images

The Giants are now memes to get mocked around the league. There were more cringeworthy moments to deride in this latest debacle than should be seen in a month, capped by Dexter Lawrence ever-so-slightly lunging offsides as Dustin Hopkins missed a 48-yard field goal that should have assured the Giants went home 29-27 winners, making them 1-1 and restoring order to their universe.

Where Lawrence lined up, he was the closest Giants player to the snap of the football. It was right there! All he had to do was watch for the snap and then move. It is not as if he were coming around the edge and trying to gain a split-second advantage for an attempted block. For that penalty to happen on a team coached by Judge — a special teams specialist — is another chapter in the “How The Giants Lose” manual.

Lawrence faced the music on Friday (“I’m supposed to move when the ball moves,’’ he said.), as did Darius Slayton, the speedy receiver who dropped what should have been a 43-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Jones on an absolute bust in Washington’s coverage.

“It’s a play I 100 percent expect to make,’’ Slayton said.

If he had made it, the Giants would have been ahead 30-20 with 6:18 remaining.

There is so much here for Judge to figure out.

•  The too-conservative approach he approved with 2:16 remaining, too eager to settle for a field goal after James Bradberry’s athletic interception.

• The demise of a defense that was supposed to be so much better than this.

•  The optics of Kenny Golladay screaming at Jones on the sideline. This is nothing much. Golladay is new here, he is frustrated with his slow start (seven receptions for 102 yards) and perhaps more of this emotion will add some attitude to the offense.

•  The strange non-use of Kadarius Toney, the rookie receiver, who did not get targeted once while on the field for 19 of the 69 offensive snaps. This is disturbing and far more worthy of investigation than analyzing the social media posts of the 22-year-old rookie as if they were Bob Dylan verses.

There is a sense of inevitability beforehand and a numbness afterward to all this losing. Giants fans want to believe Judge is the answer, but new questions arise every week.

Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) attempts to Catcha touchdown pass
Darius Slayton’s would-be touchdown catch would have given the Giants a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

“I say it all the time, I think it’s important we talk about the process,’’ Judge said. “Regardless of the outcome, you’ve got to come in and really view it objectively, understanding what do we have to correct and what do we do well enough to go ahead and build on?’’

Judge can talk about the process all day and night, but that process, eventually and quickly, has to include winning games.

“I don’t know if there’s anyone more conscious of that than me,’’ Judge said.

The Giants now have had 0-2 starts in eight of the past nine seasons. Judge is only responsible for the most recent two, but do not expect the fan base to compartmentalize any of this. It will be more of the same until it is not.

At least there is comfort in knowing the Giants cannot mess anything up this weekend.

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates, the celebrity gossip site and the entertainment site

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