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#pounditWednesday, December 1, 2021

Articles tagged: New York Giants

Giants troll Eagles after big divisional win

Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants definitely had their moment after Sunday’s victory over their NFC East rivals.

The Giants got a big 13-7 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at home in Week 12 to keep their playoff hopes alive. After the game, MetLife Stadium trolled Eagles fans as they left by playing the theme to the TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” over the speakers, per Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com.

The song could be heard in the background as Giants star Saquon Barkley gave his postgame interview on television.

The Giants improved to 4-7 with the win while knocking the Eagles down to 5-7. The Cowboys lead the NFC East at 7-4, but both the Giants and the Eagles are still on the playoff bubble.

The two teams have always had a strong rivalry, as we have seen many times over the years. The Giants took it to an entirely new level of greatness on Sunday by using Danny DeVito to troll the Eagles.

Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Joe Judge uses rules loophole to avoid naming interim Giants OC

Joe Judge

The New York Giants desperately do not want to reveal who will be calling offensive plays Sunday after the firing of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. They’re so desperate, in fact, that they are using a loophole in NFL rules just to avoid a public reveal.

NFL rules require teams to make an offensive coordinator available to speak to the media during the week. In weeks past, that would be Garrett, but he was fired on Tuesday.

Instead of doing that, the Giants used a workaround. They affixed the title of “acting offensive coordinator” to head coach Joe Judge and had him address the media in that role on Friday just to avoid revealing who would call plays.

The silliest part of all this is that it’s pretty easy to figure out who’ll be running the offense. Former Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens took over Garrett’s duties in one game last season when Garrett had Covid-19. Kitchens will almost certainly fill the job again against Philadelphia, and likely for the remainder of the season. The Eagles are undoubtedly aware of this, and have likely been preparing as if Kitchens will be calling the plays.

Judge has had some pretty weird moments throughout the season. This one would rank pretty highly, especially since his efforts don’t seem to be fooling anyone.

Jason Garrett fired as Giants offensive coordinator

Jason Garrett

The New York Giants have struggled to score points this season, and their offensive coordinator is seemingly taking the fall for that.

The Giants announced on Tuesday that they have fired OC Jason Garrett. The move came on the heels of the team’s 30-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

Former Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens, who is New York’s tight ends coach, is viewed as the most likely replacement for Garrett.

Garrett was in his second season as offensive coordinator of the Giants. He was the head coach of the divisional rival Dallas Cowboys prior to being hired by Joe Judge. The Giants were hopeful that Garrett, a former quarterback, could help Daniel Jones develop into a more complete player.

Jones has not made strides in his third NFL season. He has a passer rating of 84.0 and has thrown nine touchdowns compared to seven interceptions in 10 games.

The Giants have averaged just 18.9 points per game this season, which ranks in the bottom 10 among NFL teams.

Giants had alarming amount of false positive COVID-19 tests

The New York Giants were given the impression on Tuesday that they may have to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak, but they have since gotten better news.

The Giants returned 13 positive COVID-19 tests among those who were tested on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. All 13 members of the team were re-tested on Wednesday, and only running backs coach Burton Burns’ tested positive again.

Several players missed practice on Wednesday due to COVID-19 protocols. They should now be cleared to return.

Unless 12 of the 13 people who tested positive on Tuesday kicked COVID-19 out of their systems overnight, that means the results were false positives. It is unclear how something like that happens.

False positive COVID tests have been an issue dating back to last season. The Kansas Chiefs had several positive tests prior to a game last year, but all came back negative after being re-tested. Matthew Stafford also landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last season after a false positive. His wife was openly furious with the NFL over the situation.

5 biggest surprises of the 2021 NFL season thus far

Jon Gruden

The 2021 NFL regular season is now in Week 7 — boy, does it go by fast — and to say there have been a few surprises that stand out would be an understatement.

Things got off to a fast start league-wide and have not slowed down one bit. Whether it’s on the field or off of the field, the NFL is jam-packed with excitement, drama, and theater.

Here is a look at the five biggest surprises of the 2021 season (so far).

5. Kansas City Chiefs being average

Everything that goes up must eventually come down. The Chiefs are currently living that reality. They’ve split their first six games this season. At 3-3, they find themselves in third place in the AFC West (more on that division to come). But beyond just the .500 record, several of their superstar players are underperforming. Case in point: quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The former league MVP already has nine turnovers on the season, three shy of his career high. He has four interceptions over the past two games combined (don’t tell his mom). The Chiefs’ -8 turnover ratio is the second-worst in football. Defensively, KC is also allowing over 410 yards per game and an average of 29.3 points per game. Each of those marks are among the bottom five in the NFL.

4. Derek Carr an early MVP candidate

The Raiders decided to let Derek Carr air it out this season, and his aggression has gone through the roof. Yes, Carr has made some risky throws, and his accuracy is nothing to write home about, but he’s second in the NFL with 1,946 yards and 324.3 yards per game. Carr is also in the top half of the league in touchdown passes (10) and has tossed just four interceptions despite the new chuck-and-duck style. Perhaps more importantly, the Raiders are 4-2 under Carr, are tied for the AFC West lead, and three of their victories have come over teams who won 10-plus games in 2020. Whether or not Carr can keep up this pace remains to be seen, but few saw this start coming.

3. Myles Garrett gunning for all-time records

Through seven weeks, Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett has amassed a league-leading eight sacks and is on pace for 23.0, which would be an all-time single-season record. And given how dominant Garrett has been this season, it’s entirely possible that Michael Strahan’s long-standing record finally falls. What makes Garrett’s early-season performance so impressive is that he’s dominating as much against the run as he is the pass. And when he does get home, he finishes. His eight sacks come alongside 17 QB hits and seven hurries, and are coupled with an equally impressive 24 tackles (nine for a loss).

2. Giants defense in shambles

Entering the 2021 regular-season, most believed the Giants would be kept afloat by their defense, which surprised under Patrick Graham a year ago. That has not at all been the case. In fact, the offense has outplayed the defense thus far. Graham’s unit, which plays Cover 2 more than any other team in the league, has taken several steps back. They have been unable to generate any natural pressure. Even when attempting to scheme in pressure, they haven’t hit home. The lack of pressure has allowed opposing quarterbacks to light up their secondary, including cornerback James Bradberry, who was a Pro Bowler in 2020. Not only will this regression take a toll on the organization, it might also cost Graham potential head coaching interest in 2022.

1. Urban Meyer and Jon Gruden

The situations surrounding Urban Meyer and Jon Gruden are very different but equally shocking. Meyer, of course, drew heavy criticism for staying behind in Ohio after his team lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, only to later be caught on video acting inappropriately with a woman who wasn’t his wife (more here). He survived being fired (or divorced) but it’s certainly an early stain on his NFL career. Gruden, on the other hand, did not survive comments he made in private emails years ago. During an investigation into the Washington Football Team, several Gruden emails containing some ugly comments were discovered. He was immediately canceled, resigned as Raiders head coach, and was removed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor, where he had previously sat alongside Warren Sapp and others.

Joe Judge questions Giants’ effort after latest loss

Joe Judge

Things are looking bleak for the New York Giants, and public criticism from coach Joe Judge isn’t making the situation look any better.

The Giants lost 38-11 to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in a game that saw them trailing 31-3 after three quarters. The loss dropped the team to 1-5 on the season, and with upcoming November games against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Buccaneers, things don’t appear likely to improve anytime soon.

To make matters worse on Monday, Judge publicly questioned his team’s effort in the loss. The head coach suggested he saw things in both the first and second half that would be addressed privately.

There will be a debate about whether there’s anything to be gained from this sort of public condemnation. Maybe Judge believes the players need to be called out in public, even if not by name.

On the other hand, Judge has some good reasons to question how much the team was trying. Maybe some fans will be happy to hear him say publicly what they all saw.

Watch: Giants defense totally gave up on this Cooper Kupp TD

Giants quit TD run

The New York Giants were dominated by the Los Angeles Rams from the opening kick on Sunday, but their lack of effort late in the game will likely irritate Joe Judge more than anything.

Cooper Kupp scored his second touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter to give the Rams a 37-3 lead. The receiver sprinted up the sideline untouched after at least two Giants defenders made no effort to force him out. Keep an eye on cornerbacks Logan Ryan (No. 23) and James Bradberry (No. 24) in the video below:

It’s possible Kupp would have scored anyway, but Bradberry and Ryan could have at least tried to keep him out. They basically looked like they didn’t want to bother getting hit in a game where they were already getting blown out.

Judge is known for being an intense coach who prides himself on discipline. We saw an example of that when he went ballistic on a player who got ejected last week (video here). It would be a shock if he doesn’t revisit that Kupp touchdown at some point in the coming week.

Giants seem unhappy with Troy Aikman’s assessment of them

Troy Aikman

The New York Giants are struggling going into their matchup with the Dallas Cowboys this week. Still, they don’t want to feel disrespected despite that start.

That may be what they’re seeing from comments FOX analyst Troy Aikman made about them this week. In a radio interview with 96.7 The Ticket in Dallas, Aikman said the Giants are “not in Dallas’ class,” though he did add that anyone can beat anyone in the NFL.

A source told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News that Giants players were well aware of the comment. Coach Joe Judge seemed to know about it too, though he wasn’t quite taking the bait.

“We don’t even have a bulletin board in there to be honest with ya,” Judge said. “It’s screens and magnets. We’re in the future now, so. These guys are all active on Twitter and all types of junk, so I’m sure they see stuff.”

Judge added that the Giants shouldn’t need any “external motivation” to come in and win a division game, either.

There’s nothing terribly controversial about Aikman’s comments. The Giants are 1-3, while the Cowboys come in 3-1 and leading the NFC East. That said, there are athletes that have used far less than this as bulletin board material. If it helps the Giants, they might as well do it too.

Giants coach Joe Judge mocks analytics while defending punt decision

Joe Judge

The New York Giants are off to another slow start, and head coach Joe Judge has drawn criticism for some of the decisions he has made in the early part of the year. One of those decisions was punting from well inside enemy territory in his team’s latest loss, but Judge doesn’t want to hear about it.

The Giants punted on 4th-and-3 from the Atlanta Falcons’ 39-yard line in the third quarter on Sunday. They were trailing 7-6 at the time. Judge was asked on Wednesday if he uses analytics while making 4th down decisions, and he took the opportunity to poke fun at the stat nerds.

Judge also said the wind factored into his decision and that he is not afraid of going for it on 4th down.

You don’t need analytics to tell you that punting on 4th-and-3 from an opponent’s 39-yard line is a bad idea — especially for a struggling team that needs a spark. It’s hard to win games in today’s NFL by playing that conservatively, and that is part of the reason Judge has only won six in his first two seasons.

A very similar decision to punt from a different head coach last week was rated the most “cowardly” in years. That tells you all you need to know about the call Judge made.

Kadarius Toney seems unhappy with role on Giants

Kadarius Toney

The New York Giants are off to a very bad start in 2021, and now their first-round pick is hinting at some displeasure.

Following Thursday night’s heartbreaking loss to the Washington Football Team, wide receiver Kadarius Toney sent a cryptic message on Instagram. The text read “I don’t be mad s— just be lame to me fr.”

Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com noted that Toney was “visibly upset” on the sideline at one point in the second half after a discussion with coach Joe Judge.

For what it’s worth, Toney tweeted Friday that “we good over here” and accused people of wrongly interpreting the message.

Judge also downplayed the incident, dismissing any emotional factors and saying Toney works hard in practice.

Toney, the No. 20 pick in the NFL Draft, was the subject of speculation during training camp and has -2 receiving yards through the team’s first two games.

Whatever the case, the Giants would strongly prefer to not have to answer questions like this right now. There are already issues stemming from a different sideline confrontation, plus the team lost in brutal fashion. They’re in danger of seeing their season spiral out of control quickly.