The Giants’ loss to the Washington Football Team on Thursday night was a bad, bad look for head coach Joe Judge, a former Patriots assistant for whom the jury has been out on since his departure from Bill Belichick’s staff in New England.
Judge, now in his second season as Giants head coach after a 6-10 campaign in 2020, won three Super Bowl titles in New England, where he began as a special teams assistant before ultimately rising to the level of special teams coordinator/wide receivers coach for his final season with the organization in 2019. With New York, Judge has preached the importance of discipline and accountability, which makes the Giants’ last-second Week 2 defeat all the more ironic.
For those who tuned out Thursday’s NFC East showdown — we don’t blame you, but it actually was an entertaining contest — and didn’t catch Dustin Hopkins’ game-winning field goal for WFT, here’s the deal: Hopkins missed his first crack at the kick, but he was afforded another opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat because Giants defensive end Dexter Lawrence jumped offsides. The second attempt — a 43-yarder after a 5-yard penalty was assessed to Lawrence — sailed through the uprights, giving Washington a 30-29 win at FedExField.
“I’m not gonna put this on Dexter Lawrence,” Judge told reporters after the game. “There’s things we all have to do better as professionals, but I’m not gonna put this on any one player.”
Did we mention Judge, ever the drill sergeant, coached special teams with the Patriots?
Well, Twitter sure did, pointing to the 39-year-old’s résumé as soon as Lawrence’s gaffe opened the door for Hopkins to boot the game-winner.
Of course, not all of the blame should be placed on Judge. After all, unless he’s physically stopping Lawrence from crossing the line of scrimmage, isn’t it incumbent upon the player to be smarter in that situation?
But the loss certainly warrants a shake of the head knowing Judge’s track record and coaching M.O., especially since Lawrence’s penalty was one of several Giants miscues that led to their demise Thursday night in the nation’s capital. A holding penalty negated a long Daniel Jones touchdown run in the second quarter, and a wide open Darius Slayton dropped a would-be TD catch in the fourth quarter.
Did we mention Judge, a stickler, coached wide receivers in New England?
Anyway, yeah, not a great night at the office for Judge, whose Giants fell to 0-2 while the Washington Football Team improved to 1-1.