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Giants vs. Bears ‘things I think:’ It’s hard to defend anything we saw Sunday

Joe Judge tries to defend the indefensible, and more

New York Giants v Chicago Bears Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

I think it’s impossible to come to any other conclusion right now that to believe the New York Giants are the worst team in the NFL.

After what we saw on Sunday, and the accumulation of the last five weeks, I think it is impossible to think anything else.

The Giants embarrassed themselves in any number of ways against the Chicago Bears. Here are just a few.

  • A strip-sack on the game’s first play thanks to an embarrassingly bad play call that let the Bears have a 7-0 lead 18 seconds into the game.
  • An interception on the first throw by Mike Glennon.
  • Failure to field a kickoff inside the 5-yard line. That led to a safety and contributed to the Giants giving up 8 points in the final 1:04 of the first half. For what it’s worth, that makes it Opponents 76, Giants 0 in the final two minutes of the first half this season.
  • Play for pride? Nah. The Bears went 75 yards in 11 plays to open the second half.

Watching the Giants flail helplessly against a Bears team that entered the game just 5-10 made it hard to believe Chicago is reportedly firing coach Matt Nagy while the Giants are expected to keep Joe Judge.

Considering what we saw Sunday, the last five weeks, and really the accumulation of the 2021 season, it’s hard to believe Giants’ ownership can conclude that Judge is the next Bill Belichick or Bill Parcells, and that he has the answers to fix this mess. I think right now it’s hard to argue Judge, 10-22 in two years and with a mistake-prone team that has gotten embarrassed four weeks in a row, has shown basic head-coaching competence.

The Giants might bring Judge back simply because they can’t stomach the thought of firing a third straight head coach after a two-year tenure. I think, though, it is impossible to argue that Judge has earned that privilege.

If I hadn’t heard it, I wouldn’t believe it

A few weeks ago, Judge went off on an amazing 1,687-word explanation that took more that six minutes after I asked him to explain some of the reasons he felt the Giants were building a solid foundation despite poor on-field results.

Sunday, he topped himself.

In response to Dan Duggan of The Athletic asking him why fans should believe he can turn things around after two losing seasons and what are now five straight double-digit losses, an emotional Judge, unable to hold in a couple of curse words, went off.

He spoke for more than 11 minutes. I think I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t listened to it. Or, if I didn’t have it on my digital recorder.

A couple of highlights:

  • Judge said there are no golf clubs in the locker room or finger-pointing. “We haven’t got any of that. Any of that,” Judge said.
  • “We’ve got some foundational core guys and we know the culture’s strong.”
  • Judge said when he took the job players who remained admitted to him that the team had quit on the previous coach. Judge didn’t mention his name, but we know that was Pat Shurmur. Here is part of the quote:

“To a man, every player looked me in the eye and said, Joe, it’s not a team, they don’t play hard, we’re out of the playoffs, everybody quit, everybody tapped, they stopped showing up to the captain’s meetings, all that stuff. They tapped out. OK? ... They (this team) play every play with enthusiasm, every play with energy, every play with each other.

“This ain’t a team that’s having fist fights on the sidelines. This ain’t some clown-show organization or something else ... the toughest thing to change in a club is the way people think ... You gotta change how they believe in what you’re doing. They’ve gotta trust the process. That’s a lot easier said than done when they’re looking up right now and the most games they can win is five.

  • The Giants have one home game left, next Sunday vs. Washington. “If we don’t play well, every fan has a right to boo my ass out of the stadium,” Judge said. “They have that right.”
  • Judge said he wasn’t a “coward” who would stand in front of the media and rip players.

The importance of backup quarterback

Maybe this offseason the Giants will finally take the backup quarterback position seriously. They certainly did not do that heading into the 2021 season, and the results of that reached monumentally disastrous proportions.

The Giants, no matter who the general manager or head coach is going forward, need to realize that they no longer have the seemingly indestructible Eli Manning playing quarterback. The position actually matters.

And there is no way it can belong to Mike Glennon.

Watching Sunday, it was hard to argue with that sentiment from Carl Banks.

Glennon played the Giants into a 14-0 hole before the game was even seven minutes old. The strip sack on the game’s first play, horrid play call and all, was on him. He has to see that the blitz is coming, the Giants don’t have enough blockers, and get rid of the ball. Nope. Hold it. Get sacked. Fumble. Give up touchdown. Then, force a throw into a tightly-covered Kenny Golladay. Get intercepted. Give up another touchdown.

How bad must the Giants believe Glennon is that in a game they lost by 26 points, they only threw 11 passes. Glennon completed four. He was intercepted twice. He passed for 24 yards and had a 5.3 passer rating. He was sacked four times for 34 yards and fumbled three times. The Giants somehow ended up with -10 passing yards. Per Jordan Ranaan, that is the lowest total by any team since the 1998 Chargers, when Ryan Leaf went 1 of 15 for 4 yards and lost 23 yards on sacks.

Whether they find him in the draft or in free agency, and regardless of who the starting quarterback is, the Giants MUST find a competent NFL backup quarterback next season.

I think this sums up the game, and the state of the Gian

This is a team with a special teams coach for a head coach, and a former Pro Bowler in Pharoh Cooper as the return man. Yet, this happened. Two backwards running plays later, the Giants had surrendered a safety.

I have no clue what Freddie Kitchens was thinking

Going empty backfield on the game’s first play and looking for a play from Mike Glennon? The Giants got exactly what they deserved, a strip-sack that put the ball at the Giants’ 2-yard line and gave Chicago an easy touchdown 18 seconds into the game.

Amazing that the Giants can plan all week and decide to open a game with a terrible backup quarterback that way. Especially when Judge stood before the media after the game and said the plan was to run, run and run some more, play defense, lsy to their special teams and try not to turn the ball over.

I think the piling on has started

This from former Giants tight end Scott Simonson is the first public rip job on Dave Gettleman from a Giant, or former Giant, player I know of. Just a guess that it won’t be the last.

An important day for Saquon

It was barely noticed in the rubble of another lopsided defeat, but Saquon Barkley rushed for 102 yards on 21 carries. That was Barkley’s only 100-yard game this season, and it came on the field where he suffered his devastating torn ACL a year ago.

I think, though, that it was an important accomplishment for Barkley. He called the idea of him sitting out games on purpose “insulting.”

“Coming here and being able to have a hundred-yard game and come to the place where the injury happened and kinda made my career go backwards a little bit it does feel good,” Barkley said. “It’s like a monkey came off my back.”

It’s just too bad that monkey didn’t jump off early enough to actually help the Giants accomplish something this season.