The New York Giants have fired Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator following Monday’s disappointing 30-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team made that official with a Tuesday afternoon announcement.
Senior offensive assistant Freddie Kitchens is reportedly expected to assume play-calling duties for the remainder of the season.
Freddie Kitchens now will take over the Giants’ play-calling responsibilities.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2021
Garrett was hired as offensive coordinator when Joe Judge became head coach in 2020. The Giants were 31st in the 32-team NFL in points scored a season ago. After Monday’s game in which they scored only 10 points, their lone touchdown coming on a 5-yard drive after a Buccaneers turnover, they are 25th in the league with an average 18.9 points per game. The Giants failed to score 30 points in any of the 26 games during Garrett’s tenure.
The Giants signed wide receiver Kenny Golladay to an expensive free agent contract, drafted Kadarius Toney in the first round and made some other additions to the personnel on offense. Yet, things really have not improved noticeably.
Monday, a night when the only playmaker missing from the lineup was injured wide receiver Sterling Shepard, the Giants still could not mount a respectable offensive performance. Golladay was targeted only twice. Saquon Barkley carried the ball just six times. The Giants ran a fourth-and-1 play with neither Golladay or Toney in the game, throwing instead to backup Collin Johnson. That spelled the end for Garrett.
Giants head coach Joe Judge had expressed frustration with the offense after Monday’s loss.
“We have got to do a better job scoring points – I know that sounds pretty obvious and to the point with it, but I’m going to keep it very blunt on that right there. We have to do a better job of putting our players in a position to make plays. We have too many good players and we have to put them in a better position to capitalize, that’s it,” Judge said. “We have to make sure we sit down tomorrow as a coaching staff and understand how we have to play this game and give our players a chance to make plays. So, in reference to any body language or anything at the end of the game, I’ll handle the corrections we have to make. But as a player, there are some things I would be frustrated about as well.”
BREAKING: The Giants are letting go Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett, per @PLeonardNYDN.— PFF NY Giants (@PFF_Giants) November 23, 2021
Giants offense ranks via EPA Per Play:
2020 - 31st
2021 - 25th pic.twitter.com/IjXgo4yaGb
Kitchens taking over as play-caller should not be a surprise. He was offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns during the second half of the 2018 season, before being named head coach in 2019. He was fired after one year in that role and hired by Judge, with whom he has a relationship dating back to their time together at Mississippi State in 2004 and 2005. Kitchens coached tight ends last season and was promoted to senior offensive assistant for this season.
With Kitchens running the Cleveland offense during the second half of the 2018 season, the Browns went 5-3 after a 2-5-1 first eight games. Cleveland averaged 23.75 points with Kitchens calling plays, and 21.1 points before he was running the offense.
The Browns went 6-10 in Kitchens’ only season as their head coach. Kitchens’ work running the Cleveland offense was heavily criticized during his season as head coach.
Kitchens now gets seven games to try and make better use of the Giants’ personnel, score more points and show that he deserves the Giants to keep the coordinator job next season.
There had been speculation that the Giants would fire Garrett, formerly head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, after last season. The organization ultimately decided that continuity would be best as they tried to give quarterback Daniel Jones a chance to be successful in his third NFL season.
That, obviously, has not panned out.
The Giants have to be concerned about the lack of progress being made by Daniel Jones. After a promising start to the season, Jones has thrown six interceptions and only five touchdown passes in his last five games.