The jury is still out on Joe Judge.
Before the gavel drops on the 2021 NFL season, Giants brass is going to have to figure out how to proceed with their second-year head coach. While a lot can happen between now and then, Judge is going to have to steer the ship in the right direction after a brutal Week 1 loss to the Broncos and a 6-10 season in 2020.
While Judge has had his share of questionable moments as Giants boss, things haven’t felt as hapless as they were during the Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur stays — shudder — the prideful Giants haven’t exactly restored that luster just yet.
While Judge hasn’t exactly proven to be the answer to the Giants’ search for a worthy Tom Coughlin successor yet, there are a lot of factors that play into whether or not he’ll keep his job for the 2022 season and beyond.
Will the Giants fire Joe Judge?
While Giants fans are hungry for their squad to return to winning ways, New York is a long, long way out from making any kind of decision on Judge.
Unless something goes very, very wrong over the next few months, it’s tough to see how Judge loses his job before GM Dave Gettleman and QB Daniel Jones lose theirs. Judge, though, may be an unfortunate casualty in the coming year should things go south in East Rutherford.
There are a few ways that Judge could could lose his job: If he loses the locker room, if Daniel Jones continues to be average and if the Giants can’t improve on their 6-10 record from 2020. And no, just because they finished second in a weak division doesn’t mean he or the rest of the front office have earned slack.
That said, the Giants have historically exercised patience with their head coaches, though that trend has been bucked in recent years — namely with the firings of Shurmur and McAdoo. Judge, though, hasn’t exactly sunk to that level of bad-ness just yet.
Besides, a lot of what’s going to go into the Giants’ long-term decision is going to be what’s around Judge, too. Or, above him.
The Giants under Dave Gettleman have been eventful, if nothing else: Gettleman first was hired ahead of the 2018 season, and through the last three seasons, the Giants are 15-34, one of the worst marks in the NFL. The 2021 season should be when everything comes together and Gettleman’s plan is executed to perfection.
Gettleman was given charge of the Giants and hired Shurmur, who lasted two seasons as Giants head coach. Gettleman was given a second chance to hire a head coach when he brought in Judge prior to the 2020 season.
If the Giants underwhelm this season, then the Gettleman era could come to a halt, and should the Giants settle on a full reset for the GM-HC combo, then Judge could be out, too.
There’s also the question of Daniel Jones, as well. Jones has shown flashes through two seasons as Giants QB, but hasn’t been consistent enough to quiet critics. With Jason Garrett firmly in the crosshairs for Jones’ development (or lack thereof), the Giants OC may be out before Judge is, as well.
New York is 16 games way from any of those decisions coming to their front door, though.
Joe Judge career record
In just over a season of work with the Giants, the former Patriots special teams coordinator has a record of 7-10.
The 2020 season was a weird one for the Giants, given that the NFC East was like watching angry toddlers fight over Mega Bloks in daycare. With the Washington Football Team winning the division at 7-9, the Giants secured second place with a 6-10 record.
With the NFC East expected to be drastically improved, the Giants’ path to a division title is going to be much, much more challenging than last year.