Judge, Gettleman, and A Giant Mess Ahead

There are some games and seasons that shouldn’t be played or should end. If only the NFL had a surrender clause like in blackjack.


The Giants can fall into both categories.


They officially will end a season that  virtually ended weeks ago when they host Washington in the finale at MetLife Sunday. Only the true Giants’ faithful will be in attendance or watching it Sunday.


This was a team scheduled to be on the brink of the playoffs this year before everything collapsed around them from their defense to the quarterback.


Instead, they will be involved in a restructure/rebuild in 2022.


Embattled head coach Joe Judge mad a passionate plea for his job last week before he took a subtle shot at the Redskins stating, “this ain’t a team that’s having fistfights on the sidelines.”


But by all indications, Judge appears to be safe. Management still likes his brash, bold, rah-rah approach despite the face that he will likely win 10 games in two years.


They likely will lose their sixth straight game Sunday and end the season with a 4-13 mark. That will give Judge a 10-23 mark.  


Giants’ ownership has been waiting for the second coming of Bill Parcells/Tom Couhglin clone, but former head coaches Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur didn’t produce in spite of fitting the mold. Ownership still likens Judge to be the heir.


In Judge’s defense, his team had been ravaged by injuries, mainly severely affected by the loss of quarterback Daniel Jones. Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm didn’t get the job done in place of Jones.


His defense has suffered injuries, but they lack the spark of last season that helped them produce a 5-3 mark in the second half. Leonard Williams hasn’t looked the same since he signed his new contract, and James Bradberry has the sophomore jinx. The unit couldn’t fill the void left by Blake Martinez when his season ended with an injury.


All of this, of course, ties to GM Dave Gettleman. He has been strongly rumored to be out at the end of the season. There also have been rumors about his retirement, which he should have already taken.


I always was a Gettleman fan, but the overall results surfaced this season. It’s all hindsight, but Gettleman hasn’t hit a high enough “batting average,” a comparison owner John Mara referred to enhance the season.


It’s becoming more apparent that Gettleman made a major mistake drafting Saquon Barkley second overall in 2018 and quarterback Daniel Jones in the sixth round, notbally when he could have had Buffalo’s Josh Allen and probably Cleveland’s Nick Chubb as alternate choices.


Barkley did have more than 100 yards and was the team’s offense in their loss to Chicago last week. With his injuries as well as his lack of burst, Barkley ran for the century mark for the first time since 2019. 


Now the team will be faced with the decision to pick up Barkley’s and Jones’ options next year. It’s becoming more evident that they won’t do both.


Gettleman’s major flaw was his failure to establish an effective offensive line. Guard Will Hernandez’s play has deteriorated, and there are still some lingering questions about recent top pick Andrew Thomas. Gettleman tried to piece together some cohesion via waiver wire pickups and trades, but it didn’t work. He also released Kevin Zeitler, their best lineman, to help the cap.


Speaking of the cap, the Giants are rock bottom in cap space, and the new GM will have his hands full.


Forget about Russell Wilson coming to the Giants. It doesn’t work with cap room or with draft picks.


So, the Giants will play out the string Sunday, and this season can finally end.


From there, it will be a mess to clean up and put on some new fronts for next year.  

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

Get connected with us on Social Media