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Giants-Chiefs ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review: Lack of discipline remains Giants’ biggest issue

There is a glaring name in the ‘Wet Willies’ this week

New York Giants v Kansas City Chiefs
Adoree’ Jackson earned ‘Kudos’ for plays like this on Monday night.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If you stayed up late to watch the New York Giants once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday against the Kansas City Chiefs, you are probably in a foul mood on this Tuesday morning. Both from lack of sleep, and from watching the Giants make all of the silly, unnecessary mistakes that they have made far too often over the past season-and-a-half.

Let’d get to the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies.’

Kudos to ...

Devontae Booker — Monday was easily Booker’s best game as a Giant. He had 60 rushing yards on 15 carries (4.0 yards per attempt). Booker ran hard and decisively. He had five receptions for 65 yards, including a terrific 41-yard catch and run. He finished with 125 yards of total offense and five plays that gained 11 or more yards.

Leonard Williams — This was another impactful performance for Williams. He had a sack, 6 tackles (1 for loss), a forced fumble and a quarterback hit.

Quincy Roche — Roche got the start with Lorenzo Carter sidelined, and made something of his opportunity. Roche had 3 tackles (1 for loss), a quarterback hit and was credited by Pro Football Focus with a team-leading four pressures.

The Giants’ secondary — This was an exceptionally well-designed game plan by defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. The Giants’ defensive backs did an outstanding job executing it, probably playing better than they have as a group at any time this season.

  • Julian Love started the festivities with an interception of Patrick Mahomes, catching a ball that ricocheted off a Kansas City receiver to prevent Chiefs’ points.
  • Adoree Jackson played his best game. He had 12 tackles and a pass defensed. He seemed to be in the right position all night.
  • Logan Ryan made a difference-making play in the third quarter, stripping Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce of the ball to end a Kansas City threat in the third quarter and keep the Giants within four points.
  • James Bradberry scooped up the fumble caused by Ryan, had a pass defensed and did an excellent job disrupting Chiefs’ pass routes throughout the night.
  • Darnay Holmes split time in the slot with Aaron Robinson. Holmes had a brilliant fourth-quarter interception of Mahomes that would have set the Giants up in Kansas City territory with a chance to take the lead if not for Oshane Ximines jumping offside.

Wet Willies to ...

Joe Judge — If you are a veteran reader of Big Blue View you know that I hate putting coaches in the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies.’ Judge, though, has to be here. All of the things that have been a hallmark of the Giants’ six losses this season were present Monday night:

  • Horrible clock management? Check.
  • Lack of player discipline? Check.
  • Conservative decision-making, especially on fourth down? Check.

This is all an awful look for Judge, as much as I continue to believe he can become a winning head coach.

Judge preaches situational awareness, yet game after game the Giants waste timeouts and don’t handle end of half and end of game situations well. You can argue that the Giants wasted five of their six timeouts on Monday. They ended up with none at the end of the half and the game. Especially in the first half, that contributed to an inability to score points. In the game’s closing moments, it left Chiefs coach Andy Reid able to manipulate the clock any way he wanted.

Here is Judge explaining the timeout usage:

“The headsets were going out. We are having headset issues. This has happened in every game so far. We deal with the league and they keep telling us there are different software updates or whatever it is, but we had to call two timeouts today because we were trying to send the deals in personnel wise and you got half of the headsets not getting reception. That is the issue right there. We are trying to make the right call. There were other times it was not the right look. I wanted to make sure we settled down, but the other one with the substitution right there, that is a breakdown. We have to make sure the hardware is working. So whatever the issue with that is, the people involved better get it fixed fast.”

Judge added that “We will do hand signals or whatever we have to do. If we can’t rely on the equipment, we will figure something else out.”

He’s kidding, right? The Giants are eight games into the season. He claims this has been an issue “in every game so far.” Why hasn’t the coach who preaches situational awareness put a plan in place, at least a simple call his defense can execute, by now?

Discipline?

  • Tae Crowder unnecessarily threw a Kansas City player to the ground after a play was over, costing the Giants 15 yards and contributing to a KC drive that tied the game at 17.
  • Elijhaa Penny couldn’t simply celebrate his 16-yard first-down reception in the fourth quarter. He had to bark at a Kansas City defender, resulting in a 15-yard taunting penalty that put the Giants — albeit with a first down, right back where they started. You can hate the taunting penalty — I do — but we are halfway through the season and players need to know better by now.
  • As TV analyst Louis Riddick said, Ximines “couldn’t hold his water” with the Chiefs facing second-and-20 at their 19-yard line in a tie game, jumping offsides. That negated the Holmes’ interception, and predictably allowed the Chiefs to drive for the winning score.

The Giants committed 10 penalties in all for 88 yards. As they have been in most of their losses this season, they were their own worst enemy.

Conservative decision-making?

Trailing 14-7 and with third-and-four at the Kansas City 7-yard line, the Giants throw a 2-yard pass to Sterling Shepard. Now, was Shepard supposed to get beyond the sticks instead of come up 2 yards short? Probably. Left with a fourth-and-2, on the road against a superior opponent that has a better offense than you do, with a 2-5 record and nothing to lose, you have to try for the first down there. I don’t need a fourth-down decision bot, which happens to agree with me, to tell me that. At some point, you have to aggressively go try and win a game.

Instead, the Giants settled for a 23-yard field goal.

Analytics will tell you that again and again this season Judge’s in-game decision-making has made it harder for the Giants to win games. I keep waiting for Judge to recognize that, but 24 games into his coaching tenure he really hasn’t.

Oshane Ximines and Elijhaa Penny — These are role players given big opportunities at critical times on Monday night. You just can’t make the mistakes they made.