Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls
up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
REACTIONS TO THE LOSS FROM COACH JUDGE TO SEVERAL OF THE GIANTS
By Dave Klein
It was truly a horrific way to lose, but there appears to be a growing sentiment
that Giants' defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence WAS NOT offsides in those final
But the zebras said he was, which negated the missed 48-yard
field goal by the Washington kicker, Dustin Hopkins, and gave him another chance
five yards closer with the game clock reading all zeroes. He made that one, and
the gut-punch 30-29 defeat sent the Giants to a record of 0-2 for the season.
Head coach Joe Judge was asked what, if anything, he said to Lawrence. "The same
thing I'd say to any player on any penalty," he replied. "Mind your pre-snap focus,
post-snap technique and discipline in how we handle things. The biggest thing
for him is it's gonna be a tough lesson.
"But it's a lesson you got to learn,
a lesson we all have to learn as a team so that we don't repeat the mistakes one
by one. You've got to see that and make sure you clean it up. These are obviously
things we talked about and coached. But obviously we've got to do a better job
in the future going forward.
He continued, spelling out his feelings for the
player and the defeat. "I'm not going to put this on Dex," he said. "He's a good
player, a strong piece of our locker room. He's a good teammate, he's fun to coach,
he's a productive force as a player. I'm not gonna put this on him. There are
things we all have to do better as professionals. I'm not gonna put this on any
one player or one situation."
Quarterback Daniel Jones, who had one of his
better games in his up-and-down (mostly down) short career, was also asked to
explain his feelings to the sudden stab in the heart.
"I think it's certainly
disappointing and it hurts," he said. "We've got to get past that and get to work
and put our heads down and focus on what we need to do to improve as a team and
make sure that we're in a better position to win games. It is going to hurt and
that is part of it, but eventually we'll need to move on and get going moving
forward as a team."
For the second straight game, wide receiver Sterling Shepard
was the Giants' leading receiver, and he reacted with predictable sadness. "It's
a pretty tough one," he said. "You give it your all, you fight, and it comes down
to this. Seeing that first field goal miss and then seeing those flags isn't a
fun feeling at all. But we gotta get back in there, we gotta go to work and that's
the bottom line."
Then there is this
contribution from a subscriber to E-GIANTS and a former football official, Mike
"If you watch the replay in slow motion, as I have," he writes, "you'll
see that Lawrence was not encroaching. He did move into the neutral zone but was
back and out at the time of the snap. In college and high school rules that is
an infraction but not in the NFL.
addition, the center actually nodded his head prior to the snap -- thus HE was
actually the one who committed the foul by drawing Lawrence into the neutral zone.
Also, both wing officials and the referee should have conferred on such a crucial
call. My thoughts also are why does the NFL not review such game deciding calls?
Why no booth review?"
but the call was made, no one demanded a review, and the game was lost. Incidentally,
the call wasn't reviewed by Judge or anyone else because in the NFL, that cannot
be done in the final two minutes.
Giants are off until a week from Sunday, when they return to MetLife Stadium to
face the Atlanta Falcons at 1 p.m. ... Center-guard Nick Gates stayed in Maryland
Thursday night and underwent surgery yesterday in a Fairfax, Va., hospital for
the compound fracture of his left leg he suffered in the first quarter.
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