Joe Judge Says He Won't Pin Giants' Week 2 Loss on Dexter Lawrence's Offside Penalty

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 17, 2021

CLEVELAND, OHIO - AUGUST 22: Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence #97 of the New York Giants watches from the sidelines during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 22, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Giants 17-13.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

It appeared the New York Giants had won their NFC East showdown with the Washington Football Team on Thursday night after Dustin Hopkins' 48-yard field goal attempt as time expired veered wide right. The only problem?

Dexter Lawrence was offside, Hopkins got another attempt at 43 yards he made, and Washington escaped with a 30-29 win. 

"Obviously it's something we don't want to have," head coach Joe Judge told reporters after the game regarding the penalty. "It's something that's not acceptable. But, look, we're not going to turn around and put this game on one player or one play. There's enough things we can clean up together as a team. We can play better."

CBS Sports HQ @CBSSportsHQ

"We're not going to turn around and put this game on one player or one play."<br><br>Giants coach Joe Judge after a key penalty allowed Washington another chance at the winning FG. <a href="https://t.co/FP7K3SQUCR">pic.twitter.com/FP7K3SQUCR</a>

"I'm not gonna put this on Dex," he added

The loss dropped the Giants to 0-2, though they have more than one play to blame for the tough start. 

For one, the Giants intercepted Heinicke at Washington's 20-yard line with 2:20 remaining, trailing 27-26. A touchdown and two-point conversion would have made Washington's comeback attempts much more difficult. At the very least the Giants could have gotten a first down and forced Washington to use up its timeouts while bleeding clock before kicking the field goal. 

Instead, the Giants ran twice for just three yards and Daniel Jones threw an incomplete pass on third down, stopping the clock. When Washington got the ball back, it had a timeout and two minutes to go from its own 25-yard-line to get into field-goal range. 

It was poor game management from Judge, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and the team's offense in general. And it wasn't an isolated incident. 

Jonathan Jones @jjones9

Giants: 11 penalties for 81 yards. 1-for-3 in red zone. Failed series post-INT before the 2 minute. First-half 28-yard net punt to avoid a 55-yard FGA. FGA on 4-and-2 from the 5.

Michael Fabiano @Michael_Fabiano

The Giants blew that game. Penalties. Drops.

Despite the missed opportunity, however, Judge believes the Giants will bounce back. 

Giants Videos @SNYGiants

"Our focus as a team never changes, and that's on improvement"<br><br>Joe Judge believes in the Giants' resiliency, even after tonight's loss to Washington <a href="https://t.co/h1a8EgnKl7">pic.twitter.com/h1a8EgnKl7</a>

The question becomes what happens if they don't. The Giants are now 6-12 under Judge. Since 2017 they are just 18-48. In Dave Gettleman's tenure as general manager they are 15-35. 

If the Giants post their fifth straight losing season—and their ninth season in the past 10 years without a playoff berth—will changes soon follow? Who will take the fall? 

Judge wasn't pointing fingers on Thursday night. But the Giants may be a few more losses away from the fingers pointing at him.