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The 2021 season opener was one to forget for the Giants.
Not only did they get beat by a Broncos team with relatively zero playoff expectations entering the season thanks to a struggling offense and inconsistent defense, but their head coach cost them a bit as well.
Second-year head coach Joe Judge made a blunder in the third quarter of Sunday's loss by challenging a touchdown scored by Albert Okwuegbunam.
It was a close call, as Okwuegbunam tip-toed the sideline before reaching the endzone and as it appeared watching it live, he could have easily stepped out. Still, every scoring play in the NFL is reviewed before the extra point, so there was no need for Judge to throw the red flag.
“That’s completely on me,” Judge said. “I know you can’t challenge a scoring play. That was a little more emotional. I was looking for feedback from the officials. It looked to me on the Jumbotron, and some feedback I got from atop watching the replay, that he might have stepped on the white. I was screaming at the officials. We’re supposed to get some feedback from what they’re hearing in New York."
The play was ultimately confirmed as a touchdown and the Giants were charged an ever-valuable second-half timeout.
“I fully take ownership of that,” Judge said. “I told the team that’s obviously something I can’t do again to waste a timeout. That was something in the moment, to be honest with you, I needed to get somebody’s attention to make sure they are looking at the same things we’re looking at.”
Whether he needed somebody's attention or not, there have got to be more productive things to throw on the field in protest of a play that gets automatically reviewed anyway. Your hat? Headset? Judge could've even run on the field waving his arms and jumping around.
Either way, the Giants are 0-1 and won't have much time to dwell on the loss. They travel to FedExField on Thursday to take on Washington in a must-win game for both NFC East rivals.