NFL

Giants’ Joe Judge explains baffling decision to challenge non-reviewable play

The first Giant mistake of the year was a costly one.

In the third quarter of the New York-Denver Week 1 matchup, Giants head coach Joe Judge threw a challenge flag on an Albert Okwuegbunam touchdown, believing the Broncos tight end may have stepped out of bounds before scoring.

The problem with that: All scoring plays are automatically reviewed, meaning the Okwuegbunam TD was already looked at by replay and confirmed by the officiating crew. Throwing a challenge flag on a non-reviewable play cost the Giants a timeout, and the egregious error by the New York head coach was amplified.

Judge explained his decision to throw the challenge flag after the loss:

That’s completely on me. I know you can’t challenge a scoring play. That was a little more emotional. I was looking for feedback from the officials. It looked to me on the Jumbotron, and some feedback I got from up top watching the replay, that he might have stepped on the white. I was screaming at the officials. We’re supposed to get some feedback from what they’re hearing in New York [headquarters]. I had to do something to draw their attention. I couldn’t get them to turn around. So, I threw the flag.

I fully take ownership of that. I told the team that’s obviously something I can’t do again to waste a timeout. That was something in the moment, to be honest with you, I needed to get somebody’s attention to make sure they are looking at the same things we’re looking at.

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While Judge is unsure whether the call on the field was the correct one, the play itself was completely without controversy, as Okwuegbunam was clearly in bounds on the dive to the pylon.

The Giants would lose their home opener 27-13, but the score wasn’t indicative of how beat they got in the second half: Daniel Jones rushed for a touchdown with time expiring to add six to the final score.

Consider it a sophomore mistake for Judge, but the Giants can ill afford those types of mistakes in a crucial year for the organization.

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