EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Joe Judge is going to get his first win as coach of the New York Giants, and it’s probably going to be sooner than later.
It’s almost a guarantee with four of the next five games against mediocre NFC East teams, starting Sunday at MetLife Stadium against Washington.
For now, the reality is Judge is batting .000. Five games, no wins in his NFL head coaching career.
In four of the games, the Giants had chances, including their best on Sunday when they blew a three-point, fourth-quarter lead and dropped a heartbreaking 37-34 decision to the division-leading Cowboys (2-3) in Texas.
The Giants have no one to blame but themselves. They made too many mistakes, which has been the common thread this season.
The errors seem to change every week. Good performance by defense. Bad performance by the offense, or vice versa. Penalties, blown assignments, turnovers. Round up the usual suspects.
It all contributes to being winless and seemingly out of the playoff hunt for what will be the fourth straight year.
The bright side is this is one of the NFL’s youngest teams and they are going to win some games this season. They play hard, they have some talent — not enough yet to be a contender — and they seem to be learning.
On Monday, Judge said he was blunt talking to the team.
“To me, it’s about evidence on the tape, what we have to correct and what we’re doing well and what we can build on. I’m not a rainbow-and-sunshine type of guy. I’m also not a browbeat you and rub your nose in it type of guy either. This is what it is.
“Understand what we’re doing good that we can build on. Understand we have to do, what we have to correct and clean it up. For me, that’s the best thing for guys to respond.”
Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson said the team is getting better.
“I thought the biggest thing for us is we just want to focus on getting wins, and keep improving as a team and just keep growing,” he said. “We know the wins are right there around the corner.”
The offense finally produced. After being limited to six field goals the past two games, coordinator Jason Garrett came up with a plan that led to two touchdowns, a 2-point conversion on a pass to rookie tackle Andrew Thomas and four field goals from Graham Gano. The defense even kicked in with a TD by linebacker Kyler Fackrell on an interception return. The 34 points were 13 fewer than what the team scored in its first four games.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
No matter how much the Giants talk to quarterback Daniel Jones about avoiding turnovers, it’s just not working. He now has eight turnovers in five games. The latest one came Sunday when he was strip-sacked by Demarcus Lawrence and the ball was returned 29 yards for a touchdown by Anthony Brown.
Receiver Darius Slayton had his best game this season, catching eight passes for 129 yards. He lost a 31-yard touchdown because of a penalty.
Couple of guys. Safety Adrian Colbert picked up two penalties for unnecessary roughness, which probably will cost him some money. Markus Golden, who will probably play more with fellow linebackers Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter out, got a fourth-quarter facemask penalty to ignite a Cowboys drive that tied the game at 34 with a field goal.
Carter is going to miss the rest of the season with an Achilles tendon injury. He will have surgery soon.
8 — The Giants had a season high with eight penalties for 81 yards. Two of the penalties nullified touchdowns and forced New York to settle for field goals. That’s eight points in a 37-34 loss. An illegal shift cost a TD pass from punter Riley Dixon to Evan Engram on a fake field goal. A pick by receiver Damion Ratley negated Slayton’s TD catch.
The Giants continue their NFC East run with two games in close proximity, Washington followed by a Thursday night game in Philadelphia. After a lopsided loss to the 49ers, the Giants were close against the Rams and Cowboys. If they keep making progress, particularly on the offensive line, Judge will get win No. 1.
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