Why the New York Giants found their answer in Joe Judge

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Joe Judge
Sep 14, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants head coach Joe Judge walks on the field prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants‘ 1-6 record doesn’t tell the full story of their season, in fact, a mirage would be a better way to perceive things. When ownership hired Joe Judge to lead the team into the future, they anticipated positive progress, and if anything, we have seen the Giants fight and develop in a number of ways.

Defensively, the Giants have taken significant steps in the right direction, as they currently rank 14th in points allowed per game. Offensively, the team has been abysmal, ranking 31st in the league, averaging 17.4 points per game.

While the team as a whole has struggled and they have collapsed in the fourth quarter on multiple occasions, the establishment of new schematics on offense can be tumultuous, which is exactly what has set the Giants back. Jason Garrett has struggled to implement his scheme over the first seven weeks, but his unit has taken marginal steps forward.

Quarterback Daniel Jones’ turnover problems, the offensive line’s youth and lack of continuity, and the injury to Saquon Barkley have all severely limited the offense’s capabilities.

The reality is — Judge has inherited a team full of holes and deficiencies, but the cultural changes he’s put in place are already bubbling to the surface. Despite losing six of their last seven games, the team still feels confident they’re close to turning the corner and turning some of these close losses into victories.

Even reserve running-back Wayne Gallman said he feels far more confident in the current team than one from year’s past.

They have lost four of their six defeats by eight points or less, indicating the Giants are simply bad at finishing. Week seven’s loss to the Eagles was a compound of late-game penalties and bad drops by TE Evan Engram, but the team was very much in the contest and fought until the final moments.

The New York Giants made a good choice with Joe Judge:

Reflecting on the hiring process, the Giants interviewed several candidates for their vacant head coaching position, but looking over at NFC East Rival, the Dallas Cowboys, they took one hard look at Mike McCarthy and elected to take go with his modernized approach.

Through seven weeks, McCarthy and the Cowboys are 2-6 and are crumbling at the seams, as the players and coaching staff blame one another for their lack of intensity.

When looking at the Giants and Judge, we can derive several things:

1.) They don’t lack intensity

2.) They have boughten into the system

3.) The players respect Joe Judge

4.) The players know they aren’t far off

5.) Progress has been made on both sides of the ball

6.) Respect for the coaching staff

It will take time for the plan in place to come to fruition, but this time around feels different than the ones from years past, notably Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur’s establishments. Hopefully, by the end of the 2020 season, we will see a team representative of the blue-collar workers from New York, to quote Judge.