Pat Shurmur
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New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur explains why he called a draw play on 3rd-and-18 deep in their own territory in the fourth quarter.

The New York Giants are now 2-5 on the 2019 season after suffering a 27-21 defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. It’s the third consecutive loss for Big Blue, as they fall deeper in the NFC East division race.

In the midst of the loss, the Giants found themselves facing a 3rd-and-18 deep in their own territory in the fourth quarter. They were down 24-21 at the time and decided to run a draw play to Saquon Barkley on the long third-down play. It was expected that the Giants were just trying to get some extra yardage so they could initiate an easier fourth-down punt. However, they ended up going for it on what was a 4th-and-long.

Head coach Pat Shurmur thus provided an explanation for the play-calling after the loss.

“I had planned to go for it. They were going to be soft like you see typically against two-deep [safeties], and that’s why we did it,” the second-year Giants head coach said. “They actually ran the same type of run against us and got [the first down]. I had planned to go for it and we just didn’t execute the play as well as we liked.”

It’s not exactly the most clear explanation, but that’s all the media received from Shurmur.

If you’re going to go for it on fourth down anyway, why not try to throw the ball on third down and get an extra 5-6 yards so the next play is a bit more manageable? The decision has fans scratching their heads, as do many play-calling decisions by Shurmur.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.