The New York Giants Finally Did The Right Thing On Draft Night

Kayvon Thibodeaux posing for a picture

Draft night for New York Giants has been a “house of horrors” during the Dave Gettleman regime. After watching Gettleman six feet under, good things have not happened on draft night for the New York Giants. When Gettleman referred to the data analysts as “computer folks,” it was time for him to leave the draft room and head to the golf course.

With the fifth and seventh picks, the Giants were in a prime position to significantly improve at two important positions. In my opinion, the five most important positions are quarterback, offensive tackle, edge rusher, defensive back, and wide receiver. Going into tonight, tackle, edge rusher, and defensive back were a high priority.

I’m in foreign territory. I’m about to compliment the Giants. With their first two selections, the Giants selected DE Kayvon Thibodeaux and OL Evan Neal. Two words: home run.

Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll absolutely crushed the first round. Thibs is a monster on the edge and will be a nice running mate with Azeez Ojulari. Neal will start Day 1 at the right tackle position with Andrew Thomas at left tackle. That’s four promising players at two key positions. This is a smart regime, something that cannot be said about the last few years in New York. I’m so happy right now. I don’t know how to feel because I haven’t felt this positive about the Giants since 2016.

There’s still a lot of work left to do, but fans should enjoy this victory for the night. Now, let’s start the “Malik Willis to the G-Men in Round 2” discussion.

Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments or tweet me, @danny_giro.

New York Giants Fire Joe Judge

Joe Judge of the New York Giants

Joe Judge is no longer the coach of the New York Giants. Judge was relieved of his duties as head coach late Tuesday afternoon.

As someone who has criticized Judge on this website ad nauseam, I can honestly say I’m shocked with this decision because for the first time in a while, the Giants did the right thing. The Giants did not take a half measure. Somewhere, the ghost of Mike Ehrmantraut is smiling.

Judge compiled a 10-23 record over two seasons as head coach. After making strides with the team last season and building something that resembled a culture, Judge took seven steps back in year two. The Giants ranked 31st in the NFL in both points and yards per game. For those who are not good at math, there are only 32 teams in the league. On the defensive side of the ball, which was the team’s strength in 2020, the Giants dropped from 9th in team defense all the way to 23rd according to Pro Football Reference.

It’s not what you want to see out of your second-year coach.

I drank the kool-aid last season. I wanted to run through a brick wall after Judge’s press conference. He said all the right things, which won me over instantly. Perhaps the disciplinarian was exactly who the Giants needed to run the ship.

I learned this year, Week 2 against the WFT to be exact, that the “hardo schtick” only works when you win games. The loss to the WFT on the final play of the game was my heel turn. For a recent reference, it was my red pill moment.

Much to my dismay, Adam Schefter reported the Giants were bringing back Judge and Daniel Jones in 2022 in late December.

After defeating the Eagles on Nov. 28, the Giants had six games remaining on their schedule. It’s unfair to grade this team strictly on wins and losses because of the injuries and talent disparity. However, that’s no excuse to get embarrassed.

Make no mistake, the Giants were embarrassed in six straight games to end the season.

This is solely my opinion, but if Judge just took his lumps and made no excuses, the team would have brought him back for the third year. The press conference after the Chicago loss sealed his fate.

Excuse after excuse after excuse. Who wants to play for the Giants that’s not here? Seriously. Even if that is true, and I don’t believe it to be, it’s so outlandish that it should be kept to oneself.

If the press conference didn’t do him in, then this play was the icing on the cake.

This wasn’t all Judge’s fault. It starts at the top with John Mara, who hired Dave Gettleman to build a winning team. Under Gettleman’s regime, the team went 19–46 which was good enough for the worst record in the NFL. Gettleman also put the team in cap hell for 2022.

Thank you, Dave.

But, the Giants did the right thing. They forced Gettleman to retire, fired Judge, and requested to interview some really smart guys outside of the organization. This is the right way to build a team. Get the GM and coach on the same page. Then, get your QB and build the rest of the team.

Brian Flores, Jim Harbaugh, and Doug Pederson would be my top 3 candidates. If the Giants land one of those coaches, I’ll be a happy fan for the first time in years.

The Giants have a long way to go, but today was finally a step in the right direction.

Do you agree with firing Joe Judge? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

Giants Fans, We Have Hit Rock Bottom

New York Giants / NFL

When determining the state of the New York Giants franchise, I keep returning to a quote from Netflix’s hit teen show, Outer Banks. The show’s protagonist, John B, recalled an old saying that his father told him as a kid.

John B said, “My old man used to tell me it’s best to never say you’ve hit rock bottom. Trust me, he said, ‘you can always go lower.'”

After Sunday’s 34-10 loss to the Eagles, the Giants have hit rock bottom. The loss perfectly outlined the Giants’ problems since 2017. Inconsistency at quarterback, below-average offensive line play, unoriginal offensive gameplans, a nonexistent pass rush, and an uninspiring coaching staff top the list of deficiencies for Big Blue. These are some of the many reasons why the Giants are tied with the Jets (go figure) for the worst record since 2017 (22-57).

Before diving into Daniel Jones’s tenure, let’s talk about Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon. Fromm gave one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen in the NFL, finishing the day 6/17 for 25 yards with 1 INT and a QBR of 19.5. Mike Glennon, who was benched last week, took over for Fromm in the second half and went 17/27 for 93 yards with 1 TD, 1 INT, and a QBR of 65.8.

Full disclosure, I wanted Fromm to start over Glennon to see if the former Georgia QB could be a future backup for this team. The answer is no.

It’s not that the Giants just lost to the Eagles. They were embarrassed. The offense scored 3 points for three and a half quarters and accumulated just 192 total yards. The stunning part is the Giants won the time of possession battle and ran more offensive plays. But when your offense is more basic than vanilla ice cream, it’s not hard for opposing defenses to prepare.

On the defensive side, the front-7 couldn’t sack the quarterback even if the offense used tackling dummies to block. The saving grace all year has been Patrick Graham and the secondary. At least Graham’s playcalling and the back four give the team a chance to compete on a weekly basis.

The once-proud organization that won two Super Bowls in four years now fosters a system of losing and dysfunction. The blame starts at the top with John Mara. The Giants’ owner is reportedly tired of losing and wants to get a team on the right path again, but he’s failed to recognize the mistake that put the team in this very situation.

The day Mara hired Dave Gettleman to be the general manager will go down as one of the top five worst decisions in franchise history.

For every good decision from Gettleman, and it’s only a few, five bad ones follow. It all started when the team drafted Saquon Barkley with the number two pick. I know not to draft a running back in the top 5. You know not to draft a running back in the top 5. Even my mother would never make this mistake and yet, the Giants took Barkley instead of choosing Eli’s successor. Now, Barkley looks like a shell of himself and remains the furthest thing from a team leader.

After signing and then trading Odell Beckham Jr., Gettleman drafted Daniel Jones to take Manning’s place at quarterback.

There’s a popular video where a middle-aged man walks up to the camera and says, “You’re not that guy, pal. Trust me. You’re not that guy.” That’s the best way to describe Jones. At times, Jones will flash his athletic prowess and scramble for a 50-yard run. He’ll typically then follow it up with an overthrow on a check down. That’s the DJ experience. He’s average at best with a low ceiling and severe limitations on what he can do in terms of throwing the ball. Jones also smears his hands with popcorn butter before every possession as he leads the NFL in fumbles since 2019 with 36 (!).

Do you know who else isn’t “the guy?” Joe Judge. After every Giants game, I ask myself one question. What is Joe Judge good at? Judge was a former special teams coach, and yet that unit only ranks 14th in the NFL. The Giants are ATROCIOUS (deserved an all-caps) in the last two minutes before the half, having been outscored 68-0. I joke that Judge is the biggest “undisciplined disciplinarian” because the team continues to falter in big spots especially in close games. I spoke more about my problems with Judge, who owns a 10-21 record, after a Week 2 loss against the WFT.

I can go on and on about Gettleman’s acquisitions. For every Blake Martinez and James Bradberry, there’s a Golden Tate, Nate Solder, and Will Hernandez. Despite all of these mistakes, Mara still deserves the most blame because he empowered Gettleman.

Losing organizations build teams the wrong way. Yesterday’s report that Judge and Jones will be returning for 2022 appears in the first couple chapters in the book on how to build a losing team.

I’m upset, but I’m not furious that the Giants decided to run it back with Judge and Jones. I don’t agree, but there are arguments to be made to keep both. However, all signs point towards Gettleman being fired at the end of the season. The right move would be to bring in a new GM first to discuss the future of the coach and QB with ownership, two of the most important aspects of a winning team. If you take away that decision from the GM, what is the point of hiring an outside voice? No GM wants these decisions made for them, which leads me to believe the Giants may promote an executive within the organization to GM. Why get a new voice to build a team the right way when you can promote someone who has been a part of the losing culture? In other words, it’s the worst-case scenario.

John B was right. Giants fans, we might go lower than rock bottom.

Do you agree that this is rock bottom for the Giants? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

The Cleveland Browns Continue To Mismanage The Baker Mayfield Situation

Baker Mayfield

Love him or hate him, Baker Mayfield moves the needle. Win or lose, the Browns’ quarterback will be a topic of discussion on every sports talk show come Monday morning.

Entering the 2021 season, the Browns picked up Mayfield’s 5th-year option for 2022, but could not reach a long-term extension. Due to his subpar performance this year, deciding not to extend Mayfield may have been the smart decision in the long run.

Mayfield has done nothing this season to convince the Browns to give him an extension. Mayfield deserves a lot of the criticism thrown his way. The 6-6 Browns boast a roster that could make a Super Bowl, but a quarterback with 2400 yards, 11 TDs, and 6 INTs won’t lead to a Lombardi Trophy.

Coming out of Oklahoma, Baker’s biggest strength was his accuracy, compiling a completion percentage of 70.0 or better in his final two seasons. 70% would be hard to replicate in the NFL, but in his four years with the Browns, Mayfield has a 61.9 completion percentage. This year, Mayfield ranks 27th in completion percentage for quarterbacks who have started at least four games.

No quarterback other than Lamar Jackson receives more criticism than Mayfield. If players don’t get the ball, it’s always Baker’s fault. Just look at the Odell Beckham Jr. saga as an example. At least Lamar is criticized by personalities that cover the sport. Mayfield has to deal with the parents of his teammates making Facebook statuses and IG videos. If you thought helicopter parents disappeared in professional sports, just ask the fathers of OBJ and Kareem Hunt what they think of Mayfield.

Baker Mayfield is a problem on the field, but the Browns did him no favors whatsoever. The majority of the blame should be pointed at Kevin Stefanski, Andrew Berry, and the Cleveland Browns front office.

Mayfield is not fully healthy. The Browns’ quarterback has a torn labrum and fractured humerus bone in his non-throwing shoulder. It will require surgery at the end of the season with a recovery period of 4-6 months. On top of these injuries, Mayfield also has dealt with a knee contusion and a bruised heel.

As a fierce competitor, no one can question Baker’s toughness. He’s playing through a lot of pain, and you can see his grimaces during the games these past couple of weeks.

Despite these injuries, the Browns decided to still trot Mayfield out at less than 100% health. Baker might say he’s good to go, but he continued to limp after every big hit or scramble this past Sunday night. Why was he playing in the first place?

The Browns had a chance to rest their quarterback after suffering a knee contusion in a blowout loss against the Patriots. Instead, Baker hobbled his way to a 16-13 victory over the winless Lions and a 16-10 loss to the Ravens. Ask yourself this question: If Case Keenum started the past two games, what would the results be?

I’m a gambling man, and I bet 90% of people would say the team would go 1-1 with Keenum, which is exactly what Baker did. Had the Browns elected to sit Baker the last two weeks with a bye this week, he would’ve had three full weeks of rest. Instead, he has one week to deal with his lingering issues before facing the Ravens at home on Dec. 12.

Here’s the bigger problem with what the Browns have done to Mayfield. With extension talks expected to restart in the offseason, how can they fairly evaluate their injured quarterback for the rest of the season? If Mayfield struggles the remaining five games, he will blame his injured left shoulder for his poor play, which is a valid reason. The Browns had a chance to sit Mayfield for three weeks and give him the best chance at a fair evaluation for five games. Instead, Baker will have one week of rest before facing the same Ravens team that held the Browns to a season-low 40 yards rushing.

The Browns had a chance to get Baker as healthy as he’ll be all season with multiple weeks of rest. By skipping over this opportunity, it could cost them not only their quarterback’s trust in the organization but more importantly, a playoff berth.

Do you agree with the Browns’ handling of Baker Mayfield? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

11/17/21 Wrighster or Wrong: College Football Playoffs, Staples Center Rebrand, Top 10 Female Singers, Rittenhouse Trial

Wrighster 11-17

On this episode of WRIGHSTER OR WRONG, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, and ask why the committee continues to rank Michigan State above Michigan. The Staples Center is no more, what do the guys think of Cryptocurrency exchange platform being the Lakers primary sponsor? Barstool Sports tweeted out a satirical list of the Top 10 Female Singers of all time, and the internet went crazy, so George and Ralph revealed their actual Top 10. Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial has gone to the jury, and the guys discuss why America is so invested in the outcome. Finally, Laura Ingraham’s “Who’s on First” moment, and the rest of the Best of Social Media.  

Click any of the following links to listen to Wrighster or Wrong on your preferred Podcast platform

iHeart // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Stitcher // Radio Public // Google Podcasts

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

11/15/21 Wrighster or Wrong: NFL’s Best Teams All Have Bad Losses, CFB Coaching Carousel, Warriors Back on Top, Reign of Adele

Wrighster or Wrong

On this episode of WRIGHSTER OR WRONG, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden talk about why some of the best teams in the NFL are losing to some of the worst teams in the NFL, and rank which bad losses they think should cause fan bases the biggest concern. The college football coaching carousel rages on with the resignation of Butch Davis and firing of Jimmy Lake- George and Ralph get into which coaches might be the best fit for open jobs. The Golden State Warriors are back, and they’re not even full strength yet. Is there anyone in the NBA that can challenge them once they get Klay Thompson back? In the music world, Adele returns as the undisputed champ of the charts- what do the guys think of her dominance over the industry? Finally, in best of social media, Jim Harbaugh’s pants catch fire, Fergie’s national anthem becomes a literary treasure, and Steph Curry does something no one should ever do.  

Click any of the following links to listen to Wrighster or Wrong on your preferred Podcast platform

iHeart // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Stitcher // Radio Public // Google Podcasts

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

The Joe Judge Experiment Has Gone Haywire

Joe Judge New York Giants

When Joe Judge was hired by the New York Giants in 2020 to be their next head coach, he said all the right things at the opening press conference. Discipline, work ethic, and accountability were three characteristics that Judge prided himself on. Even though he lacked experience as a head coach or offensive/defensive coordinator, Judge appeared to bring a sense of hard work and energy that the Giants desperately lacked under Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur.

I wrote this last year after the Judge’s hire.

“From an introductory standpoint, (Joe) Judge hit a home run. It’s clear he wants to turn things around by focusing on the fundamentals, finding well-disciplined players, and playing hard on both sides of the ball.”

Throughout last season, I believed in and defended Judge from a coaching perspective. Although the NFC East was atrocious, the Giants still had a chance to somehow sneak into the playoffs at 6-10. That’s nothing to brag home about, but the team was playing hard especially on the defensive side of the ball.

The bar is extremely low to give credit to a professional team for “playing hard,” but this is the Giants, a team with the 27-54 record since 2016.

The “Ra-Ra, win one for the Gipper” act only works if you win games. Guess what? Not only are the Giants failing to win, but they’re devastatingly losing close games. Saying the right things matters, but actions speak louder than words. I started to sour on Judge after the brutal loss to the Washington Football Team after a mistake on special teams cost the Giants the game.

The Giants followed up that game with three losses in their next four games. The Giants faltered down the stretch to the Falcons, never stood a chance against the Cowboys, and embarrassed themselves against the Rams.

Did I expect the Giants to win all three of those games? No, but the product on the field doesn’t match what Judge is preaching. There seems to be no accountability or discipline as the Giants have the 10th most penalties in the NFL. But hey, at least the team had to run laps after a game as punishment.

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve lost patience with Judge and his shtick. If you have to challenge players six weeks into the season to “join in the fight,” then you’re losing the locker room.

Is Judge the driving force behind the Giants decline? John Mara deserves most of the blame because he continues to trust Dave Gettleman to build a competitive roster.

I would also cut Judge more slack if Jason Garrett wasn’t calling plays for the offense, and Daniel Jones wasn’t playing quarterback. To be honest, Garrett and Jones haven’t been terrible this season, and I’m sure many will say that Jones is not the root of all problems. To be fair, Jones has been good in spots, especially against the WFT and Saints. But anyone who has watched every game with Jones under center knows he’s not “the guy.”

This past Monday night, the Chiefs wanted to give that game away so badly, but the Giants refused to take it. Patrick Graham called a perfect game on the defensive side of the ball, and the defensive line and secondary gave the offense every chance to take the lead. But Judge, Garrett, and Jones did everything they could to make sure the Giants would lose.

One sequence at the end of the first half showed why Judge should not be the head coach next year. The Giants are trailing 14-7 late in the first half, but they’re in the red zone and face a third-and-four from the 7-yard line. Judge calls a timeout, which is fine if they’re discussing a third-down play and a fourth-down play. On the Manningcast, Michael Strahan asked why teams run plays a yard or two short of the first down marker.

We all know how this story goes.

In conservative Giants fashion, the offense ran a passing play two yards short of the first down. Did the Giants go for it on fourth-and-two from the 5-yard-line?

Nope.

There is a time and place to go for it on fourth down, and that was the situation to roll the dice. However, the Giants kicked a field goal, content with going into the half down four points.

The mistakes kept piling up. In the second half, the “Disciplined Giants” were flagged for taunting, which negated a big play, offsides, which took away an interception, and a facemask, which put the Chiefs into Giants’ territory.

To make matters worse, Joe Judge’s clock management makes Andy Reid look like Doctor Strange. Refusing to call the timeout before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter and letting precious seconds go to waste is inexcusable.

After all of this, the Giants STILL had a chance to tie or even win the game, down three points with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter. The four plays went like this:

  • Checkdown for a 3-yard gain
  • Sack
  • Incomplete pass
  • Sack

Game over.

With a pedestrian offense and a hit-or-miss defense, what does Judge exactly do for the Giants? Coach a decent special teams unit? Throw away timeouts like it’s expired Halloween candy? Blame the headsets for his coaching miscues? Post World War II quotes on the locker room wall to inspire the guys to play for him?

The Giants are a mess, and Judge is a big reason why. It’s time for Mara to move on from Judge (and Gettleman and Garrett and Jones).

(But we all know Judge is coming back next season.)

Update: COVID outbreak!

What are your thoughts on Joe Judge as the coach of the New York Giants? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @danny_giro.

Four Up and Four Down: NFL Week 3

Each week during the NFL season, UnafraidShow.com will take you through the four NFL teams/players that are trending up, as well as the ones that are headed for a crash. Let’s get to it:

1) Spider Y 2 Banana

It was a legitimate unknown if Jon Gruden would ever be able to equal the value of the massive contract he received to lure him out of broadcasting and onto the sidelines again, but this Raiders team is ROLLING. They’ve beaten both the Ravens and the Steelers, and survived two different overtime games, as well as an injury to RB Josh Jacobs, and they did it through quality playcalling on offense, and limiting themselves to two turnovers in their first three games. Derek Carr looks like he’s entering his prime, and the things TE Darren Waller forces defenses to do in order to keep him from being a one-man wrecking crew has freed up young Henry Ruggs to emerge as a legitimate star. Defensively, Maxx Crosby, a 4th round pick back in 2019, is becoming an absolute menace to opposing QBs, with two sacks and 12 QB hits.

2) The return of the REAL Sam Darnold

Pac-12 fans like me watched Sam Darnold flirt with a 60% completion percentage for three years on the New York Jets and were left wondering what on earth happened to the one-time stud Trojan QB. Three games into his tenure with the Carolina Panthers, he’s undefeated and has completed over 67% of his passes in three consecutive games. Yes he had Christian McCaffrey, and yes the addition of Hasson Reddick has taken the defense to the next level, but I’m telling you, he looks good. He’s going to be head-to-head against Dak Prescott this weekend, and Christian McCaffrey is hurt, so we’re undoubtedly going to find out if this really is the *real* Sam Darnold we’re seeing, or just an early-season mirage.

3) Justin Tucker the GOAT

Yes, Adam Vinatieri is great. But is he “kick a record long FG to win the game as time expires” great? Maybe he is, but his career long was 57, and Justin Tucker now has a 66-yard game-winner on his resume. What’s most incredible about Justin Tucker’s long-range accomplishment, is that he had come to be known as the guy you want kicking anything but a 50+ yard field goal, but improved his distance in the middle of his career to become someone without a weakness. Think about this- in 2018 and 2019, Tucker was a combined 8/19 from 50+ yards, but in the 19 games since then, he’s 10/11, including this aforementioned beauty.

4) JuCo Quarterbacks

Photo courtesy of Butte Community College

It will never not boggle the mind that Aaron Rodgers spent time in Junior College. He’s the the most dangerous QB I’ve ever seen, and imagining him at 18 years old out there at Butte College just ruining the film of 21 year old defensive backs all over the Pacific coast sounds like a Hollywood fever dream. He’s rid our collective consciousness of his horrid week 1 performance by putting together two awesome performances in a row against Detroit and San Francisco to remind us that he’s the real MVP. But he’s not the only California QB to be overlooked and have to go the JuCo route who is now tearing up the NFL… Josh Allen is right there with him after putting together a stellar 2020, earning a massive contract extension, and now doing things like throwing for 358 yards, 4 touchdowns, and rushing for a touchdown against the Washington Football Team. You might think I’m being unreasonable by comparing Josh Allen to Aaron Rodgers (which I’ve been doing for 5 years now), but wait until Bryce Perkins gets a shot with the LA Rams- then you’re really going to see me go off the rails for Junior College-to-NFL signal callers.

Heating Up

The Cleveland Browns are good. Myles Garrett looks like a top-5 pass rusher, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt look like the best 1-2 punch at RB in the entire NFL, and Baker Mayfield isn’t doing anything to screw it up. Say this out loud- THE CLEVELAND BROWNS HAVE WON 14 OF THEIR LAST 20 GAMES. Surreal isn’t it? I don’t have them in the top 10 of my NFL Power rankings yet (see below), but if they win in Minnesota this weekend, it’ll be hard to justify keeping them out.

1-32 Power Rankings

1) Steel City

Pittsburgh is an awful place to have to try and go earn a win. Even as recently as last year, the Steelers went 7-1 in the regular season at home. But if you include last year’s playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers have now lost three in a row in front of their home fans, including a two-touchdown drubbing by the Cincinnati Bengals. If the ‘Burgh isn’t a clear advantage for Ben Roethlisberger and company, this is a terribly average football team that is about to embark on a long, painful season.

2) Matt Nagy

The entire city of Chicago wants Matt Nagy fired. All of Chicago’s four billion former residents that have retired to Arizona and Florida are throwing all the hard candy from their crystal dishes at the television every time they see him in a postgame press conference. Justin Fields struggled mightily in his first start, and has managed to get sacked 11 times in just a little over four quarters of action. If the Bears don’t defend Soldier Field this week against the 0-3 Detroit Lions, we might see the first coaching change of the season.

3) The New York Football??? Giants

Imagine booing the owner at a jersey retirement ceremony for the QB that brought your franchise its last two championships. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it, you can just watch:

I’m not sure what else to even write about the Giants. It doesn’t get worse than that.

4) Cold Colts

The Indianapolis Colts had an 11-win season last year, added Carson Wentz to replace Philip Rivers, and look like they don’t have an identity anymore. With road games coming up against the Dolphins and Ravens, it’s going to be a long, hard road back to .500. In their favor is an incredibly poor division that (as long as they beat Tennessee the next time around) they could still challenge to win.

(Cooling Off)

The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t fooling anyone with that 1-2 record- they’re still incredibly stacked on both sides of the ball, but with Denver, Las Vegas, and the LA Chargers all on the come-up, they can’t afford to tinker around anymore. They need to be .500 heading into their game against Buffalo, or we might see last year’s 14-2 AFC representative facing a 1-4 start to their ensuing season.

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

Giants Continue To Lose In Heartbreaking Fashion

Daniel Jones / New York Giants

Where do I even begin? Let’s start here. No team loses games like the New York Giants. No other team takes you on an emotional rollercoaster that ends in heartbreak quite like the Giants.

Add last night’s loss to the pantheon of bad Giants’ losses. After Graham Gano kicked a field goal to put New York ahead 29-27 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, I tweeted this out. I, like a lot of other Giant fans, know how this works. We’ve seen how this script ends.

Lo and behold, the Washington Football Team drove right down the field and set kicker Dustin Hopkins up for a 48-yard game-winning field goal. The kick was no good!

I jumped off my couch, screamed at the top of my lungs, and pounded my chest in celebration.

That happiness ended within 5 seconds after I saw the flag. Dexter Lawrence, who lined up a nose tackle, jumped offsides, giving the WFT another chance to win.

Spoiler alert: WFT won.

The Giants build you up just to rip your heart out at the end. It’s a disease. The Giants do not know how to win close football games. Sure, they can beat the Cowboys and Bengals with a backup quarterback, but they couldn’t beat Taylor Heinicke, who threw for 336 yards and 2 TDs in an excellent performance.

There are people to blame, but one man deserves none of it. That player is Daniel Jones, who played one of the best games of his career. Danny Dimes finished with 249 yards passing and 1 TD to go along with 95 yards rushing and 1 TD. Jones did everything the Giants asked him to do and more. Jones is the best runner on the team right now and if it weren’t for a BS holding penalty, he would’ve rushed for close to 150 yards and 2 TDs.

I will be the first to say that Jones is not “the guy.” Jones hasn’t shown he’s a franchise quarterback. However, last night was not his fault. I understand the bar is not particularly high for Jones. That’s not a groundbreaking revelation. Jones is the butt of a lot of jokes, and a lot of the criticism is warranted. But last night isn’t on Dimes. Some will point to Darius Slayton’s drop and blame Dimes for throwing it too far. Could he have made a slightly better throw? Of course. But Dimes put that ball on Slayton’s hands. Slayton HAS to make that catch.

Slayton can catch deep passes. He proved it earlier in the game!

Dimes, you’re absolved (for now). Defense, take a seat. What happened to the Giants’ defense? This was supposed to be the strength of the team. Teddy Bridgewater and Heinicke, two quarterbacks that were backups heading into training camp, torched the Giants. The Broncos and WFT combined for over 800 (!) yards of total offense. That is unacceptable.

The pass rush is nonexistent. Who is the best pass rusher for the Giants right now? Anyone? My vote would be for Azeez Ojulari. When a rookie is leading the team in the sacks, there’s a problem.

Pound for pound, the Giants’ secondary was the best unit on the team coming into the season. Yet, they’ve been a massive disappointment. Terry Mclaurin became Jerry Rice last night. Patrick Graham has a “keep everything in front of you” mentality, which is fine in the first half. But when the game mattered, Heinicke carved the Giants’ secondary, scoring on two of the final three possessions to win the game. That can’t happen.

To the secondary’s credit, they did force a turnover in one of the biggest spots of the game.

This leads me to my final point. The biggest percentage of the blame falls on Joe Judge and the entire coaching staff. Judge coached an awful game last night. For a coach that prides himself on execution and doing the little things right, the Giants were an undisciplined mess.

In the first half, the Giants took a delay of game/false start out of a timeout. That led to a sack, and that resulted in a punt. Points disappeared before our very eyes.

After the big turnover late in the fourth quarter, the Giants needed one first down to put the game away and make it so they have the ball last. Jason Garrett, who wasn’t awful last night, and the offense only wasted 16 seconds before kicking a field goal. That’s unacceptable. (I want to rant about Garrett’s play-calling, but I have to wrap this article up.)

Then, Lawrence jumped offsides on the most important play of the game. Judge is supposed to be a special teams guru, and yet this team made the biggest mistake of the game on special teams. You don’t see good teams jumping offsides on field goal attempts. The Giants were undisciplined, and that falls entirely on Judge.

Last night hurt a lot. Many are saying the season is over. Are they wrong? I’m not sure yet. If the Giants lose to the Falcons in Week 3 on Eli Manning Day, then I’m out on this season.

At least Giant fans get to relax on Sunday.

P.S. Saquon… yikes. If he’s hurt, sit him.

What are your initial thoughts in regards to the Giants’ loss to the WFT? Tweet us, @unafraidshow.

2021 NFL Week 1 Stock Report: Four Up and Four Down

2021 NFL Week 1 Stock Report

Each week during the NFL season, UnafraidShow.com will take you through the four NFL teams/players that are trending up, as well as the ones that are headed for a crash. Let’s get to it:

1) The Saints Go Marching

Jameis Winston is filling some enormous shoes, while trying to throw out his previous pair. On Sunday, he managed to do both, playing relatively mistake free football, and helping the New Orleans Saints completely demolish the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay had come into New Orleans having scored 30+ points in five consecutive road games, and the Saints defense, bolstered by sacks from Tanoh Kpassagnon and Marcus Davenport, and interceptions by Paulson Adebo and Marcus Williams, has sent a signal to the rest of the NFL that the Saints aren’t going to have to win by shootout.

2) Same Old Tom and Gronk

We wrote about last Thursday’s electric NFL season opener, and once the dust settled on the entire weekend, it was clear that Tampa Bay still stood out as one of the most impressive teams of week 1. Of course everyone expects a defending Super Bowl champion to still have some gas left in the tank, but the Buccaneers came out with an even bigger tank, overflowing with high grade premium fuel. Antonio Brown looks better than he did last year. The Bucs run defense looks better than it did last year. And for the third time in the last seven games, Tom Brady found his old pal Rob Gronkowski in the end zone more than once. If for any reason Tampa wasn’t your Super Bowl favorite heading into 2021, it might be time to change your mind.

3) The Cardinals Take Flight

The Arizona Cardinals had the most eyebrow raising additions, as well as departures, leading up to the 2021 season. While the hype around this team remains minimal, as Arizona isn’t exactly the sexiest market for national talking heads, the week one thrashing of the Tennessee Titans on the road has caused quite a stir. Whether it’s Chandler Jones taking out his frustration with his contract situation on Taylor Lewan and Ryan Tannehill, or Kyler Murray finding both DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk for two scores each, you have to wonder if the Cardinals largest margin of victory in a season opener since the 1960’s is a flash in the pan, or a sign of things to come.

4) The AFC West

I definitely did not think that the NFC West would go undefeated in week 1. Especially when the Kansas City Chiefs trailed the Cleveland Browns by two scores in the fourth quarter, and the Las Vegas Raiders trailed the Baltimore Ravens by a TD with six minutes left in their Sunday night matchup, but here we are. The emergence of Justin Herbert at QB for the Los Angeles Chargers might make this the most entertaining division in all of football this year, especially if Von Miller and the Denver Broncos defense keeps them in games enough for Teddy Bridgewater and Melvin Gordon to work some magic, the way they did against the Giants on Sunday.

Heating Up

I know they lost, but I was impressed with both Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, and Browns QB Baker Mayfield’s progress. Our own George Wrighster believes that Dak Prescott is currently a top-5 NFL QB, and if he repeats his week 1 performance a few more times, I’m not sure I’ll be able to disagree. You have to throw Rams Head Coach Sean McVay on this list as well, because Matt Stafford’s play at QB is making him look like even more of a genius than he’s purported to be. Oh, and in case you forgot, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin still knows what he’s doing. Pittsburgh’s win over Buffalo should be a strong warning to the rest of the AFC North division that the Steelers aren’t quite dead yet. And why not give a shout out to the Houston Texans, who many thought would be circling the drain this year… a lot of season left, but as it stands right now, Tyrod Taylor and company are undefeated. Last but certainly not least, if you’re going to face an entire offseason of rumors that the Eagles are looking to replace you as the starter before you ever really get the chance to prove yourself, you might as well go out and dominate the way that Jalen Hurts did.

1) Aaron Rodgers

If you’re going to spend an entire offseason letting rumors and reports of your discontent run unchecked, and then you’re going to grant an interview to Erin Andrews further explaining your dissatisfaction with your status as the QB of the Green Bay Packers, you don’t get to be shocked when the team you’ve made it abundantly clear you don’t want to play with isn’t showing up on the field to support you. If Aaron Rodgers isn’t able to convince the Green Bay Packers to rally around him in his last year there, he’s going to have to be the one to do the rallying. Either he swallows his pride, or he’s going to swallow a few more five touchdown defeats.

2) Minnesota Vikings

Never has a team been more emblematic of the phrase “playing to the level of your competition” than the Kirk Cousins-led Minnesota Vikings. The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t a bad football team, but they’re certainly not as talented as the Vikings, and the idea that they’d need to come from behind to force overtime (and still lose!) to an offense that features Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, who have an average combined age of 23-years-old, has to infuriate Skol nation.

3) Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans wasted an all-time great offense last season by surrendering over 30 points eight different times. So how’d they kick off 2021? How about putting the brakes on that offense while still leaking like a sieve in the secondary? It doesn’t look like Ryan Tannehill is the guy you want trying to play you back into a game from behind, and when you have your franchise left tackle publicly thanking the defensive end that beat him five different times for “exposing” him? YIKES.

4) Atlanta Falcons

When your salary cap situation is so bad that you have to let the best receiver in franchise history walk away, you probably aren’t going to earn much praise for having your longest play from scrimmage be 18 yards… at home… against a team defense that was in the bottom half of the league in both total yards and points allowed last year.

Cooling Off

The top two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, weren’t a disaster in their season debuts, but outside of Aaron Rodgers, they finished second and third on the weekend as far as the worst completion percentage. Wilson, while he looked decent at times against Carolina, was sacked six times in his debut. If the Jets don’t protect their investment, who is on pace to take 26 more sacks than David Carr did in 2002, a record that still stands to this day, then they’re going to likely be scouting top QBs for the second draft in a row.

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.