Coaching not to win …
At the end of the first half, Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team went for it on fourth down, extended a drive, and were rewarded with a Kyle Allen touchdown pass. Rivera’s riverboat gamble paid off in a big way.
Faced with a similar situation, Giants head coach Joe Judge and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett came up small.
On the Giants’ first possession of the second half, Garrett ran Devonta Freeman into the middle of the line on 3rd down and 1 from the Washington 37-yard line, for a one-yard loss.
The Giants lined up to go for it on fourth down, were called for a delay of game, and instead of going for it on 4th down and 7, the Giants elected to preserve a timeout, and punt … To Washington’s 18-yard line.
It wasn’t even as though Judge and Garrett were coaching not to lose, their decision looked like they were coaching not to win.
Fortunately for Judge and Garrett, Washington went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but the lack of aggressiveness in this situation is emblematic of the Giants’ struggles through the first five weeks. Garrett’s unimaginative third down play call was compounded by Judge’s lack of aggressiveness in a spot that could have effectively put the game on ice.