New York Giants: James Bettcher Planning For His Possible Last Game

New York Giants
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher celebrates with players during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the New York Giants might be moving on from defensive coordinator James Bettcher soon. His defenses have been lackluster and cost the Giants a number of games where they could have won had the team not given up one more touchdown or field goal, and Pat Shurmur’s decision to keep faith in Bettcher moving from the 2018 season to the 2019 season hasn’t paid off for either party.

If both coaches are going to keep their jobs, which could be an unlikely prospect whether the team wins or loses based on the reports about the ownership’s unhappiness with the current situation, winning on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles is an absolute must. It’s not exactly turning the season around, but knocking the Eagles out of the playoffs would be an achievement Bettcher and Shurmur can point towards – even if the Giants themselves didn’t come anywhere close to competing for the playoffs this season.

“I think that the first down play in that series is very important, too, because if you give up six on first down, then it’s second and four and your third down doesn’t look good already. It starts with the whole series and the whole drive. Playing well on first down, putting that play in the bank. Go to the second down play, execute, win your matchup, whatever it might be. Then get to the third down and play where it’s at,” Bettcher said about the preparations for the upcoming game.

But the Eagles converting nine out of 21 third downs last time the teams met was a problem for the Giants and one of the factors that led to their overtime battle ending up a loss rather than a victory.

“When you get 12 stops on third down in a game, that’s pretty good. The percentage kind of goes out the window at that point. But we need to go execute on third down, win our matchups on third down, understand how they’re trying to attack us. In the second half, we need to get one or two more third down stops than we got last time,” Bettcher stated.

If the Giants can’t pull out a win on Sunday, it looks very likely that Bettcher and Shurmur will be on the way out come Monday – potentially with Dave Gettleman following closely behind, depending on just how much of a purge the ownership conducts. It certainly makes third down defense more important than it’s ever been in the past for this coaching staff.

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