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A question was asked of head coach Joe Judge about the team's body language and morale as they were being completely dominated and embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on national television.

"I thought our guys were in tune to the game, competitive," Judge said.

The tape tells otherwise. There were a few lackluster, half-baked efforts, such as a flimsy block by Saquon Barkley on Andrew Thomas's touchdown reception and a half-baked blocking attempt by receiver Kenny Golladay.

Here's the thing. The Coaching staff talks about trusting players, about putting them in the right position to be successful. But talking and doing are two very different things.



Remember, these players are competitive by nature. So how do you think when in a critical situation such as a 4th-and-1, Golladay and Kadarius Toney felt not being on the field for that conversion attempt?

And how do you think Barkley might have felt when instead of being given a chance to punch the ball in after Adoree' Jackson's interception set the Giants up at the Bucs' 5-yard line only to be asked to serve as a blocker?

What do you think might have been going through the players' minds at the first half came to a close and there were no shots taken in the middle of the field (a Daniel Jones strength) or when the clock bled off 26 seconds (despite having two time outs left), the coaches content to go into the locker room down 17-10 instead of at least getting into field goal range and aiming to close the Bucs' scoring lead to 17-13?

And what about that drive in the fourth quarter with 7:44 left and three-time outs. How do you think the players felt not trying to test a banged-up Bucs defensive secondary deep to get themselves into a position to close the 30-10 scoring gap a bit and gain some momentum to go along with it? That they punted on 4th-and-5 from their 30-yard line despite having nothing more to lose and something to gain?

Lousy, that's how they felt. Yes, there were some issues with executing. And yes, they get paid to do a job, but like anyone else on the face of the planet, if you perceive your efforts to be underappreciated, how much enthusiasm are you going to really give day in and day out, especially if it involves getting physically beat up week after week?

The bottom line is this coaching staff did the players no favors in playing things conservatively.

And until something changes to where there's less indecisiveness and time wasted, we could very well be doomed for more of what we saw Monday night.

Here are a few additional thoughts on the Monday night debacle.

1. Ever since he became head coach, Joe Judge has always believed that if a guy gets a game-day uniform, the coaches will find a way to get them involved in the game.

But when that attempt means pulling some of your top talents from the field to get guys who probably aren't in the same bracket into the game, that's not smart personnel management.

The best example I can give you is on that failed 4th-and-1 play. Did anyone happen to see Kadarius Toney or Kenny Golladay on that play? Nope, and that's because both were on the sideline while Collin Johnson was the only receiver on the field in another heavy (13-personnel) package that Bucs linebacker Devin White instantly recognized from the formation.

(Not to mention there was some hesitation by the sideline as to whether to go for it --it took 43 seconds in between plays before the Giants finally decided to try for the first down, which was another problem in itself.)

This isn't meant to be a diss on Johnson. The point is, why spend big money on guys known as playmakers only to have them on the sideline when you need a play to be made at a critical point in the game?

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2. Speaking of personnel decisions, after literally carrying the running game on his back, what did the Giants coaching staff do when it came to running back Devontae Booker? They significantly cut his touches, giving him just three rushing attempts and one pass game target.

Why? Because Saquon Barkley was back.

I get it. Barkley is the super talent, the guy who can supposedly do it all on offense. But he was also coming back after over a month of live game action, and boy did it show in his six carries for 25 yards and his six receptions for 31 yards on Monday night.

Rather than distribute the workload to ease Barkley back into it, they put all their eggs in one basket only to have those eggs smashed before they could bring them home from the market.

For what it's worth, Barkley looked like a player who hadn't seen the field in over a month. He was hesitant, and his pass blocking, which was never really a strong point (see the clip below), left something to be desired. 

And he wasn't a difference-maker. That said, would Booker have made a difference? Given how the offense ran as a whole, probably not, but to reduce a guy's opportunities after he's produced for you for the last three weeks or so just doesn't make sense.

3. Daniel Jones had a few clunkers throughout his night, but when the final evaluation is made about him after this year--and to be clear, I think the Giants pick up his fifth-year option--it's plays like these that continue to make it difficult to determine once and for all if Jones is the answer. 

Again, Jones wasn't flawless Monday night. But he sure didn't get a lot of help either.

4. Anyone wondering why, with Bucs defensive lineman Vita Vea out, the Giants didn't double team Ndamukong Suh rather than leave him one-on-one most of the night with Will Hernandez, who struggled? Might it have made sense to slide some additional protection over that way and leave left guard Matt Skura and Andrew Thomas to handle their assignments solo?

5. Anyone else wondering why the Giants went with stacked concepts and not the deep vertical ones? The stacked concepts played right into the strength of the Bucs defense, whereas the vertical ones would have put stress on the banged-up defensive secondary. Yet, they seemed to be a big part of the game plan.

Along those lines, if I had told you that Kadarius Toney would see 12 pass targets but none thrown 20+ yards to take advantage of his speed (his longest reception was only eight yards), would you have believed me?

The Bucs figured out the Giants' plan quickly enough and soon began taking away the short wide receiver screens Toney was running by clamping down on him at the time of scrimmage.

Terrible.

6. Speaking of Jones, he was under pressure on 55 percent of his dropbacks. So why not adjust and keep six in to help with the pass pro more often? It's not as though the Giants were sending guys vertical, so having someone even throw a chip would have been better than nothing, right?

And who knows? Maybe with better protection, Jones might have been able to try more than just the lone deep pass attempt he had on the evening.

7. The defense wasn't much better this week. Anyone wondering what happened to seeing more man coverage, which was supposed to be a strength of this group? Instead, the Giants went with a loose zone to keep things in front of them, which is fine if your pass rush is functioning (which this week, it was not).

To further add to that, the Giants did a poor job in disguising what they were running, giving Bucs quarterback Tom Brady an easy night. 


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