New York Giants: Joe Judge raises eyebrows with criticism of analytics

New York Giants, Joe Judge

For the past half decade, the New York Giants have been accused plenty of times of being an organization stuck in the past. While other franchises have had more success with rebuilds after adopting new strategies and taking a chance on outside personnel, the Giants have largely focused on loyalty to past figures from the team’s history.

One of the most common complaints about the Giants’ current offensive playbook is that many of their passing concepts look like they came from the 90s, and these complaints go all the way up to the teambuilding level where Dave Gettleman has been criticized often for taking a running back with the second pick in the modern NFL.

Those who feel the Giants have underperformed when it comes to modernizing for the times now have something else to criticize, as head coach Joe Judge added onto that trend by dismissing analytics while defending a controversial decision to not go for it on 4th down in Falcons territory in week 3.

In that specific situation, it’s been argued that more analytically adept teams would have weighed the odds and found that going for it is worth the risk. In any case, the decision came back to bite the Giants as they eventually lost the game by a slim margin – an outcome that could have been avoided with a few more points scored by the offense.

“It’s nice to look at the numbers and how they go through the flow of the game, but the analytics change based on the opponent, based on who you have available for the game and how the flow of the game is going, too,” Judge said while defending his decision.

“You can look at a stat sheet all you want. I promise you: If Excel was going to win football games, Bill Gates would be killing it right now.”

The remark about Excel and Bill Gates may rub some the wrong way due to the current state of the Giants. Right now, the Giants appear to be on a downwards trajectory while a number of other teams have turned around bad runs and found success after adopting more modern trends.

In fact, it’s not hard to make an argument that a team owned by Bill Gates would likely put together a more competent front office and coaching staff than what the Giants have now. The Seahawks, after all, are well known for their run of great drafting under the ownership of Microsoft associate Paul Allen, which brought them star players such as Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom secondary.

The Giants largely haven’t been able to get things to work under Dave Gettleman’s old school style. And while Gettleman has said things occasionally about leaning more into analytics, it remains unclear just what impact those efforts have had. While it’s impossible to know exactly what is going on in the front office, it looks from the outside like the Giants frequently lean back on their old-fashioned ways when the time for an important decision comes around.

Unless the Giants can find actual success with their own way of doing things, comments like Judge’s will continue to come off as tone deaf. And many fans will continue to rue the fact that the organization spites the idea of moving forward and handling their rebuild along more modern lines.

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