The first Giant mistake of the year was costly.
In the third quarter of Week 1’s New York-Denver game, Giants head coach Joe Judge threw a challenge flag on an Albert Okwuegbunam touchdown, arguing that the Broncos tight end might be. be out of bounds before scoring.
The problem with this: All scoring games are automatically reviewed, which means Okwuegbunam’s TD has already been reviewed by replay and confirmed by the team of officials. Throwing a challenge flag on a non-reviewable game cost the Giants downtime, and the New York head coach’s glaring error was magnified.
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The judge explained his decision to throw the challenge flag after the loss:
It’s completely on me. I know you can’t challenge a scoring game. It was a little more emotional. I was looking for comments from officials. It seemed to me on the Jumbotron, and some comments I received from above while watching the replay, that it could have walked on white. I was shouting at the officials. We’re supposed to get feedback on what they hear in New York [headquarters]. I had to do something to get their attention. I couldn’t get them to turn around. So I threw down the flag.
I take full ownership of it. I told the team that this is obviously something that I can no longer do to waste a time out. It was something at the time, to be honest with you, I needed to get someone’s attention to make sure they were looking at the same things we were.
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While the judge was unsure whether the field appeal was the correct one, the game itself was completely uncontroversial as Okwuegbunam was clearly within the limits of the plunge towards the pylon.
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The Giants would lose their home opener 27-13, but the score wasn’t indicative of how they had been beaten in the second half: Daniel Jones rushed for a touchdown with time expiring to add six to the final score.
Consider this a second mistake for Judge, but the Giants can hardly afford those kinds of mistakes in a crucial year for the organization.