4 Overlooked Reasons the 2021 Season didn’t work out for the NY Giants

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants head coach Joe Judge (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The 2021 season was as bitterly disappointing a season as any for the NY Giants in a long time.

The NY Giants’ 2021 season isn’t what anyone in New York hoped for or expected in Year 2 under Joe Judge‘s tutelage.

There have been far too many of the same excruciating mistakes, the same painful losses, and the injuries piling up left the Giants‘ cupboard fully bare empty.

The NY Giants exuded eternal optimism all offseason. They had a splashy free-agent frenzy, they signed big-name players to hefty contracts, they seemed to maneuver the 2021 NFL Draft wisely and traded back and accumulated extra draft capital for 2022, and the team was set to welcome back its fans after being shut out of MetLife Stadium last year due to the ongoing pandemic.

Add in the return of Saquon Barkley off ACL surgery, Daniel Jones’ expected improved development and a defense that surged at the end of last year, the feeling of excitement was understandable from the NY Giants and the fanbase alike.

The NY Giants’ season crashed and burned the first three weeks.

New York lost their first three games, all to middling competition that is the Broncos, WFT, and the Falcons. Two of the games were at home so it was an even bigger, uglier, and embarrassing overall disappointment.

There is much to look at for why this season went off the rails. Here are 4 reasons the NY Giants struggled mightily again this season.

Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett never should’ve been hired as the NY Giants’ Offensive Coordinator. Retaining him after 2020 may have been an even bigger mistake.

Garrett has set the NY Giants’ offense back exponentially the last two seasons. Garrett was fired by the Cowboys at the end of the 2019 season after another disappointing season resulting in no playoffs. Garrett always had supremely talented offenses and players to use in Dallas despite winning just one playoff game in 10 years. As the saying goes, nobody did less with more than Garrett during his head coaching tenure.

Garrett interviewed for the NY Giants’ head coaching gig before Judge did. Garrett is a former Giants’ backup QB who clearly had strong support and respect from John Mara. Garrett did not get the job that Joe Judge did, but he did latch on as the team’s offensive coordinator. It has been speculated ever since that Mara recommended hiring him to Garrett which has all but been confirmed since Garrett’s departure 3 weeks ago.

As the story goes, Mara hired Judge, Mara recommended adding Garrett to his staff, and Judge didn’t want to upset ownership in Year one, so he listened to the man who writes his checks.

Garrett joined New York despite no prior relationship with Judge and it proved to be a catastrophic decision for Judge.

Garrett presided over one of the worst, ugliest, and least efficient offenses in the NY Giants’ 96-year history as a franchise. Garrett had the trifecta of bad play calls, bad personnel designs, and bad players to work with during 2020. In 2021, the personnel was upgraded tremendously at all skill positions, yet Garrett’s playcalling and play designs were still equally bad.

It has been reported since Garrett was fired that Judge seriously considered making him a one-and-done in New York after the 2020 season. The NY Giants did not score 30 points once offensively under Jason Garrett. It’s an egregious stat Garrett will leave with his tenure in New York. The question that bears asking is: Why did Garrett ever get a second year? Did ownership again nudge Judge to keep Garrett?

Jason Garrett never should have been hired as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2020.

Retaining him for the 2021 season was an even worse decision. Garrett has ruined his NFL reputation almost entirely. He likely won’t sniff any head coaching or offensive coordinator gig for several years. He couldn’t land Duke Football’s Head Coaching gig which shows you his current respect levels in football coaching circles.