Giants’ HC Joe Judge is finally hitting the rookie wall; what has he learned?

New York Giants, Joe Judge
Oct 4, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New York Giants head coach Joe Judge on the sidelines during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The first half of the season saw rookie head coach Joe Judge for the New York Giants make strides with his team. Despite starting the campaign 1-7, the Giants were in a majority of games and simply couldn’t finish.

A lack of playmakers and poor coaching in some facets hurt their chances, but Judge seemed to have everything under control, even when the team was losing.

The Giants ended a four-game win streak against the Arizona Cardinals this past weekend, being trounced in every category. From time of possession to special teams, the Giants were simply outcoached and outmatched, something that Judge indicated after the contest.

Some might argue that Judge has finally hit the rookie wall in his first year as a head coach, watching his special teams unit flounder the past few weeks, despite that unit being his specialty.

Of course, there was the decision to start quarterback Daniel Jones, despite his hamstring injury and the fact he wasn’t 100% healthy.

They felt even injured he provided the best opportunity for the Giants to win the game, but unfortunately, he was more of a liability than a solution. He fumbled the ball three times and only threw for 127 yards behind a shaky offensive line. Giving him one more week to heal and unlock his running abilities might have been the better move, but that is a decision Judge and the coaching staff calculated before the loss.

There was always going to be hiccups for Judge, who has otherwise impressed in his first year with the Giants. He has commanded respect from his players, disciplined coaches, and holds everybody accountable for their actions, even himself.

The New York Giants are trending up with Joe, not down:

The most notable difference is culture, and without defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, the team would undoubtedly be in shambles. He is just as important to the season’s success as Judge, but they have worked side-by-side to resurrected a defense that was expected to be at the bottom half of the NFL this season.

Nonetheless, the former Patriots special-teams coordinator and wide receivers coach has found himself in a tough spot heading into a week 15 contest against a team that just put up 42 points on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Cleveland Browns are no joke, and the Giants are trying to figure out their woes on special teams and provide a spark on offense. Ultimately, Judge can only do so much to help these units — the players simply have to get their jobs done on the field.

Jones might be feeling 100% this week if not for playing and leaving the game limping after being sacked six times against Arizona. That is a decision that Judge has to live with, and one he will learn from as similar situations arise down the road.

However, learning experiences are good for a rookie head coach and will help him make better decisions as time goes on, but rallying his troops for another important game is his most pressing challenge at the moment.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: