Pat Shurmur calls decision to punt in fourth quarter “the right thing to do”

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The Giants played well last night, despite the final score. But coach Pat Shurmur apparently wanted the final score to more accurately reveal how well they’d played.

That’s the only way to understand Shurmur’s decision to punt on fourth and two from the New York 33 with 7:08 left in the game.

Down 28-14, the Giants needed two scores. Punting the ball would make it extremely hard to generate two more possessions, especially in light of Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s mastery of situational football.

Going for it, however, carried with it the risk of giving the Patriots a short field and an opportunity to extend the lead to 21, creating a final score that looked worse for the Giants. And that’s the only logical explanation for Shurmur’s decision to not give his rookie quarterback a chance to build some self-confidence in himself (Simmsism) by converting a key fourth-down play.

Think of how Jones may have grown as a player if he’d parlayed a fresh set of downs into a touchdown. And what if something screwy had happened (like an ill-advised option play on third and short) to give the Giants another crack at the ball?

We’ll never know whether that would have happened, because Shurmur wanted a final score that would look good to the people who scan the headlines while flipping through the New York newspapers on Friday morning.

Shurmur won’t admit the motivation; he said simply that “I felt like it was the right thing to do” when asked about the situation after the game. But it’s the only motivation that makes sense: Shurmur thought 28-14 looked better than 35-14.

Of course, he ended up with 35-14 anyway because the punt into the wind traveled only 30 yards, and then the Patriots went 63 yards in seven plays to create an outcome that will prompt the headline scanners to conclude that the Giants got blown out.

46 responses to “Pat Shurmur calls decision to punt in fourth quarter “the right thing to do”

  1. Haven’t had any respect for Shurmur since he split his time between getting the Vikings ready for the Eagles in the NFC Championship game and putting together his Giants coaching staff.

  2. He would have gotten reamed if he went for it and missed. The ball would have been within FG range. Based on how the offense was performing last night it was the right call.

  3. It seems that we see this often enough around the league from quite a few coaches.
    How many times when watching a game…..and watching the clock….do you scratch your head at the decisions of coaches around the 9-8-7 minute mark in the 4th quarter ?
    Just like the coaches use analytics to figure out 2 pt conversions they should do the same in these situations.
    Down 10 or less at 8 minutes maybe punt…..but down more than 10 you always go for it.
    Or something of the like

  4. Pats were my survivor pick this week and I was still yelling at my TV when I saw that punt. Just plain idiotic. The Giants played to minimize the loss not maximize their win potential. I thought the NFL had started figuring this out.

    Apparently not.

  5. The difference between the right decision (going for it) and punting ins’t winning or losing….. they would lose either way. The difference is whether the coach keeps his job. In general, coaches don’t get fired for being conservative and losing. They do get fired for being aggressive and losing.

  6. “Well, you know, Coach Shurmur has done an excellent job with that football team. They’re very well coached. Fundamentally sound. They’re tough in all three phases of the game–offense, defense, special teams. They can play in all situations. I just can’t praise Coach Shurmur enough. We hope we don’t see them again. Coach Shurmur does a great job with the clock management, with the play selection — just doing the right plays in the right situations and executing them well ………………………..”

    — former HC of the NYJ

  7. Shurmur looked like Johnny Whinebaugh Jr out there last night looking for calls constantly in hopes of cheating to win.

    The Edelman phantom hold where he was telling the officials to back the sticks up based on what he wanted, was a beaute. We see the replay and even the announcers were struggling to see a hold.

    They were looking for calls that weren’t even there.

    The best was Janoris Jenkins and his 14 mil per year salary grabbing Edelman at one point well past the line of scrimmage and then throwing him down. LOL

    You either play disciplined and get the borderline calls or ya don’t.

    Shurmur is not a good coach.

  8. Or maybe he thought with 7 minutes to play, he could get a 3 and out on defense and get the ball back with 5 minutes left. Score a TD and an onside kick?

    Why assume you know what the coach is thinking?

  9. Most coaches do this. And they are all wrong. You know what he was thinking right there? “I want to keep my job, and a big loss is much worse than a small loss”. Again. Coaches are wrong.

  10. Usually I think NFL coaches should go for it more often on 4th down. But in this case, on the road, without Barkley in the backfield, against the number 1 defense in the league. It almost never ends well.

  11. That’s the guy I remember from his days in Cleveland. My guess is, if he was asked about what kind of play you could run if you went for it on fourth down, he would say, “Well, you could run the ball or pass the ball.”

  12. The game result wasn’t ever in doubt – the score was close in 1st half only because Pats got stiffed on the ball placement on their key early 4th down attempt, and Tate had one bobbled break-out catch that was almost batted away but instead went for a 65yd TD. Giants had no offense going – their only other score came from a sack-fumble their D returned for a TD.

    Patriots offense was misfiring too but they still amassed 400yds. It was one-sided, and with a wicked wind messing with the game. But 35-14 is reflective of the game overall. Get over it.

  13. I just realized Shurmur worked alongside Whinebaugh in Philly. No wonder he acts like him lobbying for calls all game long up and down the sideline, bullying the refs.

  14. As I watched the Patriots play I thought to myself no way this team beat the Dolphins. Then I remembered the Dolphins hired coaches from the Loser Belichick Coaching Tree.

  15. Shurmur is correct.
    It was the right thing to do if you want to LOSE “with honor”, menaing by a closer score.

    A real HC tries to WIN. They take a chance that probably will not work out, knowing that its better to pull out a win 5% of the time, and lose by a larger score 95% of the time. A W is a W and an L is an L.

  16. “The Giants played well last night!” This is what it’s come to for the Giants? This is humiliating. Thrashed by 21 points on three defensive and special teams TDs and sportswriters are licking each other’s popsicles over how well they played. Could the bar be any lower?

  17. Stupid gutless call. Pats kicker and overall offense is not good, you’re on the road, grow a pair and go for it. Weak!

  18. Pat Shurmur needs to learn that you don’t play “not to look bad”, but you play to WIN. Any head coach that doesn’t know that is no head coach. They willingly punted away any chance they had to win because they didn’t think they could gain two yards? WHO DOES THAT !!!!! A loser, that’s who.

  19. The supposition that Shurmur was concerned about how the score looked vs having more faith in his D than his offense given where the ball was on the field isn’t born out by his subsequently going for it on 4th and 10. Just maybe he applied the sound football logic that being down 2 scores was better than handing the Pats back the ball at the 33 when a 3rd score ices the game.

  20. “That’s as close to payback that NE will ever get.”

    Nope. Payback was going on to win 3 more SBs since 2011 while the Giants have sucked their way to the bottom and Eli has been benched.

  21. “Could the bar be any lower?”

    The league’s quest for parity and the endless softening of the game seems to have resulted in about 8 good teams and 24 awful ones. People get pissed about the Pats continuing to win, but they should be pissed at the atrocious owners that laugh all the way to the bank while getting away with the rancid products they put on the field.

  22. It boils down to this – Punt and you have almost zero chance to win, because you’re not getting two TDs on New England in the last 7 minutes when they have the ball. Go for it and you have a chance, albeit slim. Of course they should have gone for it. By punting you’re ironically saying “our offense isn’t good enough” yet you believe you can score two TDs in under five minutes after making New England punt…ok

  23. That wasn’t the only drive he should have gone for it. He seems tough at the press conference but he’s a total wuss on the field that doesn’t pay attention to analytics.

  24. Of course any decision a coach make when it doesn’t work out gets criticized. But think both media and fans are less critical when you play aggressively than too cautious. This was outdated, overly cautious game management. When in doubt just ask- What would Belichek do? In this situation I’m pretty sure he would have gone for it.

  25. Maybe Giants fans will realize that it was not Eli that was the problem and Daniel Jones is average at best.

    Eli 63 % completion rate 2 2 td/2 int 278.0 ypg

    Jones 60.7% 5 td/ 6 int 184.2 ypg

  26. He didnt want to blow the spread on the Giants and big money to be lost. Whenever you wonder why someone did something that does make sense it’s often to do with money.

  27. It was one of those damned if ya do, or damned if ya don’t kind of decisions… personally, I think it was right, but then again, I’m not an NFL coach…

  28. The Giants played well last night? Really? Their defense played well but their offense and ST were awful. Giants offense had 10 first downs, 213 total yards, 20:24 time of possession, 1 fumble returned for a TD and 3 INT’s. The Giants ST had a punt blocked, by their own player, returned for a TD. Where is the “well” in those numbers?

  29. fishfan77 says:
    October 11, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Maybe Giants fans will realize that it was not Eli that was the problem and Daniel Jones is average at best.

    Eli 63 % completion rate 2 2 td/2 int 278.0 ypg

    Jones 60.7% 5 td/ 6 int 184.2 ypg
    That’s “Danny Dimes” to you, not “Jones”. He throws dimes to the opposition DB’s.

  30. The Giants had two good plays and both probably do not result in touchdowns 9 out of 10 times. The Patriots showed they too have major injury issues, thus they did not blow the giants out by 28 in the first half. But the Patriots ran like 80 plays, possessed the ball for 40 minutes, missed a FG, eschewed a FG after that and did not convert a pair of 4th downs (one was good but got a bad spot and should have been challenged), and then took a knee several times on the Giants 8 yd line. It could have just as easily been 50-0. As it stands it was simply a 35-14 win that was somewhat painful to watch. Most fan bases would love to be so fortunate as to suffer through 35-14 wins.

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