The Giants posted a 6-10 record last season, Judge’s first at the helm after coming over from the New England Patriots where he was the special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach. With a record of 4-11 through 15 games thus far in the 2021 campaign, repeating as a 6-win team is the best possible result for New York, despite the NFL adding an extra game to the schedule this year.
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The Giants front office dismissed both of Judge’s immediate predecessors, Pat Shurmur and Ben McAdoo, after just two seasons but decided to remove any ambiguity on the future of its current head coach by announcing plans to bring Judge back for a third year. As far as his players are concerned, that decision is just fine.
“He’s been doing a good job with just keeping us motivated to go out there and play these games,” running back Devontae Booker said during a session with media members Friday, December 31. “It can get very discouraging with losing games, being on a losing streak. For him to keep us motivated to go out there and continue to go and play hard week after week is all we can ask for.”
Giants Players Keep Morale High Despite Disappointing Season
The rest of Booker’s New York teammates who spoke to reporters Friday were in high spirits with an optimistic eye fixed on the future, despite the difficulties the team has encountered throughout the season.
“We wished Coach Judge a happy birthday at the end of practice,” said cornerback James Bradberry. “I think we’ve got some good guys on this team. I mean, we know it’s not from a lack of effort. We actually go out there and we put a lot of effort on the field, whether that’s during the week or during the game, so we just try to keep our heads in it week-in and week-out and try approach every day like it’s a new day to where we can get better.”
Some of the Giants’ struggles are of their own making, but much of the team’s turmoil was centered around developments like injuries, over which the players have little or no control.
The Giants’ roster has missed 301 total games due to injury, per the stats provided in the tweet, 1 contest more than the second-place Tennessee Titans with 300 contests missed. The Baltimore Ravens have lost 298 games to injury, while the New York Jets have lost 258 and the Detroit Lions have missed 243.
Giants Players Not Interested in Excuses as Season Winds Down
Despite the poor injury luck, the Giants had no use for excuses Friday — a character trait that is typically reflective of the attitude promoted by a team’s head coach.
“Everybody in the building has got a lot of pride,” said cornerback Jarren Williams. “We’re all pros in the sense to where we want to win. Nobody’s throwing in the towel. Yeah, we might have been eliminated from the postseason, but nobody is throwing in the towel. We’ve still got two games left that we’re trying to win, especially with this one coming up.”
The Giants travel to Soldier Field on Sunday to take on the Chicago Bears (5-10), in a game that means nothing to either team except pride for the winner and draft position for the loser. But the Giants players said they will continue to keep their focus on playing winning football, regardless of the stakes.
New York will finish its season playing host the division rival Washington Football Team on Sunday, January 9.