Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
New York Giants head coach Joe Judge said Tuesday the team understands it needs to win more than six games to make the playoffs.
Judge previously lamented the Philadelphia Eagles’ personnel decisions during a Week 17 loss to the Washington Football Team, which eliminated the Giants from postseason contention. He suggested he wouldn’t bench key players in such a situation to “disrespect the game.”
New York’s first-year coach revisited those comments on WFAN’s Boomer and Gio (via Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media) after Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was fired:
“Look, that’s our fault. Point blank. We have to do better. 6-10 is not a playoff team. That’s the reality. That’s what it is. You don’t deserve to be in the playoffs with that. Our guys understand that … we’re not trying to sit back and make some excuse, or sit back and paint some picture that someone else owes us anything. They don’t. We owe it to ourselves to go out there and take advantage.
“What I was commenting on was specifically was about our players asking me about that and how I would respond to it. I was clear about what my message to the team was throughout the year from Day 1. And the last meeting we had as a team, that’s what I shared as well. So they could understand our approach as an organization here and my approach as a coach to make sure they’re always out there fighting for a result.”
Judge also explained his original remarks were solely about how he’s handling the Giants and not criticism of Pederson or the Eagles’ staff:
“My comments were clearly what I’ve been saying to our team since Day 1 about our approach to how we’re going to play the game here. My comments were specifically in response to questions my players had been asking me throughout the day concerning some of the things that happened around the league. To me, it’s important to respect the game, to respect the players that lay it on the line for you every day. That too me is critical. Our job as coaches is very simple: You put your players on the field, and you do everything you can to give them a chance to be successful. That’s it. Don’t make it more than what it is.”
The Giants had lost three consecutive games before their season-ending victory over the Dallas Cowboys to reach 6-10. Washington won the NFC East with a 7-9 record.
What likely added to the frustration was the fact New York won its Week 17 game earlier in the day and then had to watch the Washington-Philadelphia game that night, and several players reacted on social media after the Eagles removed starting quarterback Jalen Hurts from the lineup.
Judge’s comments illustrate the bottom line: The Giants needed to do a better job taking care of their business, either during their 1-7 start or in those three losses, if they wanted to make the playoffs.