Joe Judge Takes Responsibility for Giants Woeful Season: ‘The Fish Stinks From the Head’

It’s no secret the New York Giants aren’t having a good season. The team’s 1-5 record indicates as much. The question is, whose fault is it? There’s plenty of blame to go around. General manager Dave Gettleman, quarterback Daniel Jones, the oft-injured Saquon Barkley, and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett can all share some of the blame. However, like in any organization, the buck has to stop somewhere and, this week, head coach Joe Judge says he’s ultimately responsible.  

The New York Giants are one of the worst teams in the NFL 

Outside of a Week 4 overtime win against the New Orleans Saints, the Giants haven’t been able to end the week in the victory column this season.

And, it’s not that they haven’t been in games.

On Thursday Night Football against the NFC East rival Washington Football Team, Darius Slayton dropped a wide-open, possible game-clinching touchdown. Then, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence inexplicably jumped offside on a WFT game-winning field goal miss, and, on the redo, New York lost the game.

Against the Atlanta Falcons, the Giants were up by a touchdown with just over four minutes left. Then Adoree Jackson dropped a game-ending interception in the end zone, the Giants committed pass interference, a drive stalled due to penalties, and the Falcons got in position for a last-second field goal to steal the win.

While these two losses and the Saints win may have given Giants fans hope, the last two games took that hope away.

The team has regressed in their last two games. The Dallas Cowboys crushed them 44-20, and the Los Angeles Rams did the same, 38-11.

Head coach Joe Judge takes responsibility for the struggles

The New York Giants have plenty of problems.

The team is currently dealing with a major injury bug that will keep offensive weapons Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, and Kenny Golladay out of the Week 7 matchup with the Carolina Panthers.

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s play-calling has been suspect all season. The Giants’ offense is currently 26th in scoring. And, GM Dave Gettleman has only drafted one Pro Bowler (Barkley) in four drafts.

Even with these organizational issues, Judge says that he’s the one who has to take responsibility. The second-year head coach recently told reporters, per ESPN:

I’m the head coach. It’s my responsibility, point blank. Every player on this field, every position group, the execution, it all comes down to me. The fish stinks from the head down. I’ve been taught that from great guys who I worked for, played for. There are no excuses, no exceptions. You demand it from your coaches to make sure that the players are playing the right way. … But it starts with me and ends with me.

Joe Judge on the New York Giants season

While it’s admirable that Judge is stepping up and taking responsibility, it may not be enough to save his job. If the G-Men continue on this losing path, someone will have to go, and Judge is a prime option.

Will the Giants fire Judge? 

Head coach Joe Judge of the New York Giants reacts on the sideline in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium on October 17, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
New York Giants head coach Joe Judge| Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images.

Between Bill Parcells hiring in 1983 and Tom Coughlin’s resignation in 2015, the New York Giants had five head coaches. The franchise has had three (or four if you count interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo’s four games in 2017) in the last six years.

Will Joe Judge be the latest Giants leader to get just two seasons in New Jersey?

There are two options that could see Judge keep his job. He — possibly at the direction of management or ownership — could fire Garrett and draft a new QB to replace Daniel Jones. This scenario would likely buy him another two years or so.

Option two is that ownership fires Gettleman, not wanting to give him another chance to screw up drafting a franchise QB after the Jones debacle. In this scenario, ownership could allow Judge to bring someone in from his New England family, which would keep him in the job for a few more years.

If the Tisch’s and Mara’s bring in an outsider, that would likely mean Judge gets one more year at best.

All that said, reports like the one from NFL insider Jason La Canfora on The Tony Kornheiser Show suggest Judge has many in the organization “scratching their heads,” which may mean the head coach may be the fall guy for this horrendous season when it’s all said and done.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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