There was no excuse losing to backup quarterback Nick Mullens and a decimated 49ers team the way they did, but let’s say we all agree to give the Joe Judge Giants a mulligan anyway since it was only their third game of the season.
It is Week 6.
Judge tells us he sees progress, tells us his Giants are getting better day by day, week by week.
We have reached the Don’t-Tell-Us-Show-Us Week.
The Washington Football Team is starting backup quarterback Kyle Allen.
If not now, when?
The Cowboys didn’t beat the Giants last week.
The Giants beat the Giants last week.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Giants could not finish in the fourth quarter. Daniel Jones did not make the plays down the stretch that Andy Dalton made. Another backup quarterback, albeit the best in the league. The defense could not make a stop, or a stand, when it mattered.
No one pegged the Giants as a playoff team. And there have been no cupcakes on the schedule.
But when you are 0-5, it’s time to win a damn game. It’s time to win a game you are favored to win.
It’s time to give your fans suffering from afar a morsel of hope, a respite from the hopelessness that has gripped them since Super Bowl XLVI.
It’s time to represent those fans the way that Judge promised to represent them when he first arrived. By being a smart, tough and fundamentally sound team. It’s time to get your rookie head coach his first win and a game ball.
Because listen: rookie Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is 3-2 now following an 0-2 start, and he’s been doing it with Mike Davis replacing Christian McCaffrey (ankle), and with Teddy Bridgewater resurrecting his career, with former Jets WR Robby Anderson. It doesn’t mean that Rhule, who was a prime candidate for the Giants job, is a better coach than Judge. But he sure has a history as a program-builder.
It’s time to start learning how to win again, time to validate all the blood, sweat and tears you’ve been shedding each and every week.
“You don’t win in the 60th minute, there’s not some magic formula, there’s not some grand scheme playbook that this is how you win games,” Judge said. “The way you win games is playing every play with the best technique, assignment and focus you can, eliminating mistakes, and capitalizing on your opponents’ mistakes. That’s really the secret. It’s not easy, but it’s simple, I say it to our team a lot. . . The secret to winning is just doing your job for 60 minutes, and that’s what it comes down to.”
It’s time for Daniel Jones to be the battlefield commander every step of the way and throw a touchdown pass, for crying out loud, after four weeks without one. The quarterback who threw five TD passes last December and beat Washington in overtime has vanished. Watching Justin Herbert throw four TD passes on Monday night has Giants fans pulling their hair out.
Jason Garrett threw the kitchen sink at the Cowboys and he better be ready to throw caution to the wind against Chase Young and this formidable Washington Football Team front four.
Let’s see that quarterback-friendly offense he had apparently left in Dallas for the first four games.
“I think Jason does a good job of making really everything in this offense friendly to the players in a lot of ways,” Judge said, “and if there’s ever something we have to change and adjust to the players, I think Jason does a good job of doing that.”
Devonta Freeman has had the playbook for a month now. He isn’t Saquon Barkley. But he showed signs against the Cowboys that he has enough left to give Jones the kind of balance he needs. He was targeted three times last Sunday, and with Sterling Shepard still sidelined, with Evan Engram not filling the Jason Witten role, with Golden Tate averaging a career-low 7.4 yards per catch, Garrett and Jones should remember that Freeman has caught more than 50 balls three times in his career, with a career-best 73 in 2015. Ezekiel Elliott was targeted 95 times in 2018 and 71 times last season under Garrett.
Washington has lost four consecutive games by 14 or more points.
“On both sides of the ball, they got a tremendous amount of talent,” Judge said. “This team’s got a lot of impact players across the board.”
Does anyone say that about the Giants?
“I think we have a good level of talent. . .we’re not looking to make this a team full of stars. . .I’m more focused on making them understand that as a team what we’re about,” Judge said.
They’re about 0-5.
Don’t be about 0-6.