Joe Judge discussed how analytics played into his decision to punt from the Falcons’ 39-yard line this past Sunday.
But one of the more head-scratching moments from that game was Joe Judge‘s decision to punt the ball away on a 4th-and-3 from the Falcons’ 39-yard line. It happened late in the third quarter when the Giants were down 7-6 — they eventually lost 17-14 following a game-winning kick.
Despite what people believe, Judge claims he wasn’t afraid to go for it. But when speaking on this move, the second-year head coach didn’t exactly provide a popular opinion on the role of analytics in the decision-making.
Asked Joe Judge about his conservative punting from the 39. He says "I'm not afraid to go for it on 4th down." Considers it case-by-case. "I don't live in a world of fear." #Giants
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) September 29, 2021
“Analytics is just a tool…You can look at a stat sheet all you want,” he said, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “I promise you if [Microsoft] Excel was gonna win football games, Bill Gates would be killing it right now. But you’ve got to take those numbers…as a tool and go ahead and factor in how your team’s playing at the time and how the opponent is as well…and also the flow of the game.”
There are NFL teams heavy on analytics — right now, the 0-3 Giants should probably take a page out of some of those organizations’ playbooks and factor the tool into their judgment just a tad bit more.
Judge also referenced a crosswind, which affected his decision on whether he would send Graham Gano out to kick what would’ve been a go-ahead 56-yard field goal. It’s important to note Gano has made 37 consecutive field goals dating back to last season.
The Giants finished that drive with zero points when taking a chance could’ve resulted in either three or six (with the extra point or two-point conversion pending). This would’ve been a crucial point swing given Big Blue lost by just a field goal in the end.
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