It’s time … The NY Giants need to fire Joe Judge

Head coach Joe Judge of the New York Giants(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Head coach Joe Judge of the New York Giants(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
NY Giants, Joe Judge
New York Giants head coach Joe Judge (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

Joe Judge’s coaching style

Say what you want about Daniel Jones, but during his rookie year under Pat Shurmur, the Giants offense showed ability to move the ball down the field and put points on the board, something the offense has struggled to do these past two seasons.

In 2019, Jones threw 24 TD to 12 INT in 12 starts. The offense scored at least three touchdowns in four of those games, or 33% of his starts, including a league average red zone rate of 57%. In the 23 games Jones has played in full since Judge was hired, the offense has scored three or more touchdowns a mere six times, 26% of Jones starts, while the team has ranked in the bottom two in red zone percentage.

One of the reasons for this is Joe Judge’s conservative decision making.

In Shurmur’s lone season with Jones, the team attempted a league-low 17 field goals. Granted, Aldrick Rosas, the Giants’ kicker at the time, largely struggled that season, often deterring Shurmur from settling for three points on any given drive.

Nonetheless, it led to the Giants attempting a league-high 31 4th down plays in 2019, converting on 45.2% of them, which fell just below the average rate in the league that season. Keep in mind that this is all with a rookie QB in Daniel Jones who was prone to turning the ball over, a putrid offensive line, and wide receiver core led by Golden Tate.

Here’s a log of every time Judge settled for a field goal or punted on 4th and 5 or less in the opposing team’s territory this season:

Week 2 @ WAS
4th & 2 on WAS 5, Field Goal (2Q 4:12, 10-7)
4th & 3 on WAS 34, Field Goal (4Q 13:40, 23-17)
4th & 4 on WAS 37, Field Goal (4Q 4:55, 26-20)
Result: Lost 29-30

Week 3 vs ATL
4th & 3 on ATL 39, Punt (3Q 6:29, 6-7)
Result: Lost 14-17

Week 4 @ NO
4th & 1 on NO 16, Field Goal, No Good (2Q 13:20, 0-0)
4th & 5 on NO 5, Field Goal (3Q 8:40, 10-14)
Result: Won 27-21 in OT

Week 5 @ DAL
4th & 5 on DAL 36, Field Goal, No Good (1Q 10:52, 0-0)
Result: Lost 20-44

Week 7 vs CAR
4th & 1 on CAR 35, Field Goal (4Q 12:47, 15-3)
Result: Won 25-3

Week 8 @ KC
4th & 2 on KC 5, Field Goal (2Q 2:48, 10-14)
Result: Lost 17-20

Week 9 vs LV
4th & 4 on LV 14, Field Goal (4Q 14:11, 20-16)
4th & 3 on LV 20, Field Goal (4Q, 3:25, 23-16)
Result: Won 23-16

Week 12 vs PHI
4th & 3 on PHI 33, Field Goal, No Good (2Q 11:52, 3-0)
Result: Won 13-7

Week 13 @ MIA
4th & 3 on MIA 47, Punt (1Q 10:51, 0-0)
4th & 2 on MIA 46, Punt (3Q 5:03, 6-10)
Result: Lost 9-20

The three games that stick out are against Washington, Atlanta and Kansas City, all of which were lost by three points or less.

In those three games, extending a drive that turns into a touchdown, or in the case of the game against Atlanta, a field goal, could have left the Giants with a few more wins than losses.

It’s hard to justify settling for field goals and punting in the opponent’s territory when the offense as a whole struggles to put the ball in the end zone. Kicking field goals in some scenarios is undoubtedly the right move, but when you’re down by more than three in a spot where you only need a few yards, the risk is worth it for a team that’s been desperate for touchdowns.

In the case of the game against Washington, the Giants were up in the game and kicked two different field goals to go up by six points in the 4th quarter both times. However, when you know your defense is struggling, going up by six still leaves the game with a difference of one possession in an NFL where it’s easier to score a touchdown than ever before.

Judge, like many coaches, is still stuck in a very old-school mentality. Meanwhile, there are coaches all around the league like Brandon Staley, Kliff Kingsbury, Kevin Stefanski and Zac Taylor all finding success early in their careers with philosophies far more modern than Judge.

The NY Giants can only go so long hiring and firing coaches, but in order to fully move past this era of mediocrity, they need to move on from Judge, Gettleman and the rest of the stink they’ve created in the organization.

Hot. Giants must trade these players this offseason. light