Bad Football

This game had everything. Dropped passes, penalties, terrible decisions, and more.

Jim Rome
October 23, 2020 - 9:49 am
Daniel Jones

USA Today


Thursday night football always tests the over-used phrase about bad pizza, bad sex, and bad football. As in, there’s no such thing as any of those three. It is one of biggest lies ever: trust me: there is bad pizza. And there is bad sex. We’ve all sampled both. Of course. And most of all there is bad football: and if you watched even 30 seconds of that garbage last night between the Eagles and Giants, you have experienced horrible football.  Because that was football at its very worst.

Just truly abhorrent. And let me make a distinction. A distinction between bad football and dumb football. They’re not one of the same. But this was both. This was bad, dumb football by two bad football teams making really dumb mistakes. It was like a battle of which team could out-dumb the other and which team wanted to win less.

Now, that doesn’t change the fact that it was the biggest, most important game between 1-win teams ever. I have a dream, a hope, a wish for what the NFC East could be this year and these two teams did not disappoint.

This game had everything. Dropped passes, penalties, terrible decisions, and more.

There are so many moments I could pick and one of them was just so bad that it gets its own take, but let’s throw a quick spotlight on a play from midway through the first quarter that really let you know just how bad it was going to be.

The Giants have the ball. Its 4th and 3. They decide to send the punt team out late.

There’s chaos on both sides of the ball, with Daniel Jones appearing to walk up to the line to communicate a play, only to see the punt team coming on.

But as confusing as that was, the Eagles are an even bigger mess. Their defense is coming off the field, the punt return team is coming on the field, sort of. And there is just total confusion.

It looked like a high school game. A high school preseason game. Philadelphia was such a mess, they didn’t have someone there to block Corey Ballentine, the left gunner.

Corey Ballentine was standing there, on fourth and three, and the closest Eagles player was 15 to 20 yards away. All the Giants had to do was just throw Ballentine the ball and it would be the easiest first down in NFL history.

Punter Riley Dixon noticed and appeared to be trying to get his attention, to tell him that he was open, but Ballentine didn’t look. He was locked in on, well, I have no idea what he was locked in on because there was no one in front of him. If anyone should’ve known that he was wide ass open it was the dude who was wide ass open.

But he kept going about his business as if he was covered, even when he wasn’t. That is some terrible football. That’s terrible playing and terrible coaching. And just as a quick reminder, let me share Joe Judge’s last few jobs to you:

- Special teams assistant at Alabama

-  Assistant special teams coach with the Patriots

- Then he was promoted to special teams with the Patriots

- And finally, special teams and wide receivers with the Patriots

The focus of this man’s coaching career has been special teams and his special teams absolutely blow the easiest first down you’ll ever see. But yes, go on and tell me about how tough his practices are and how he really embodies the blue collar attitude that you want in a coach.

At that point, you might be thinking, the Giants aren’t the smartest football team ever. And you would be right. They are a very dumb football team. Very, very dumb. Just colossally stupid.

They might’ve missed that first down, but they never missed an opportunity to make a terrible decision.

And yet somehow, they still had a chance to win that game. In fact, they had more than a chance. They had an 11 point lead with less than five minutes to go. Going into last night, teams were 56-2 this season when leading by double digits with less than 5:00 left.

The Giants saw that and said, hey y’all, watch this. They allowed the Eagles to march down the field to score. Sorry, did I say “allowed”? I meant helped. Because Philadelphia wasn’t doing any that on their own. The Giants did their work for them by mixing in a ton of bad coverage and even worse penalties.

And the Eagles finally scored to make it 21-16.

And then Philly ran a really weird, and by weird, I mean bad, attempt at a 2-point conversion

The Giants get the ball back with 4:34 left, up five. Spin some clock, get a first down or two and you can end this game. With 2:14 left on third down, Daniel Jones dropped back to pass and Evan Engram drops it.

That is a brutal drop. You simply cannot not catch that ball right there. You have to catch it. Catch that ball and you can ice the game. But Evan Engram didn’t do that. Here was his recap after the game: “Got the look we wanted. DJ threw a great ball. Just didn’t finish the play. One hundred percent I got to make that play. Sucky feeling.”

No, E, the “sucky feeling” was watching this game. That was the true “sucky feeling.”  And I’m here to tell you, if they didn’t pay me to do it, there’s no way in hell I wouldn’t.  And if you’re listening and you watched that game on your own volition, by choice, and you could have been doing anything else at all, but you choice to sit in front of a TV and watch that garbage: then your life went really wrong at some point in time. Because as well as I do, they still pay me enough to have to sit through this crap.

The Giants had to punt. But still, they’re punting to an Eagles team that had been a mess offensively. No way the Giants are really going to blow this.

Oh, yes they are. They’ll start by committing a truly idiotic penalty on the punt.

The hit from Ballentine was a penalty, but don’t sleep on the unnecessary late shot from Madre Harper that injured Desean Jackson. Good stuff, dude. Really great.

And the Giants weren’t done with the penalties. They made sure to come up with two more penalties on Philadelphia’s drive, just in case the Eagles were stalling out on offense.

Finally, Philadelphia scored to take the lead.

And then Philly went for two again.

Again, I know most of this take has been focused on the Giants, but let’s not forget the Eagles are pretty terrible as well. They had plenty of their own dumb penalties and Carson Wentz had some truly weird decisions, and on the two-point conversion, they somehow managed to have an ineligible man down field on a two point conversion. How is that possible? How far down the field can you get when the play starts at the two-yard line?

Despite all of this, despite blowing an 11 point lead in the final five minutes, the Giants still had a chance. And then Daniel Stephen Jones III when Daniel Turnovers again.

Legend. This king is going to get his own take, but I have nothing but respect for a guy who manages to turn the ball over at the rate that he does. In a world of constant change, his turnovers are consistent. And I respect that.

You can set your watch to Danny Turnovers going Danny Turnovers. Just like you could predict that Joe Judge was going to come out after that loss with his weird tossed salad of clichés about working hard, about how hard Giant fans work, and trying to make the fans proud.

And he delivered: "No excuses. We're working hard. We're trying to put a product on the field that you can be proud of. We understand that you work hard as well. There are no excuses from us. We have to improve to be better for you guys."

Dude, you aren’t coaching the local high school football team. You’re coaching an NFL team. Nobody cares how hard you work. The fans are not going to say, this team sucks, but they work hard like me, so I’m proud of them. You work hard? Great. You know what else works hard?  Pretty much everyone I associate with. You find a way to choke away another game, but its ok, but you and your guys work really hard. If that’s the case, why the hell do we even need a scoreboard? Because the way you make it sound, it doesn’t matter if we win or lose, because we work really hard. 

HOW TIRED IS THAT RAP? And there is absolutely zero credit for repeating “no excuses” time and time again. Again, nobody cares about excuses or how hard you work. People care if you play well and win. And your team plays like garbage and loses. Every Sunday. Except on those days when you play on Monday. Never, ever underestimate how truly dumb and bad the giants are as a football team. And you just knew they were going to man down and find a way to lose last night. Because that’s who they are. That’s what they do. And that’s where they live. And no one anywhere should be surprised by that. I know the guys in that locker room weren’t. At this point, it’s no longer a game or even a job, it’s a lifestyle: a losing lifestyle.