Last week, Giants coach Pat Shurmur made a head-scracthing fourth-down decision in the fourth quarter from his own 33. This week, he made another one from the same spot on the field.
Down only three points with 2:35 to play and two timeouts remaining, Shurmur opted to go for it on fourth and 15 in lieu of punting the ball. It didn’t go well; quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked, he lost the ball, and the Cardinals recovered.
Three plays later, the Cardinals kicked a field goal that made the score 27-21. The Giants fielded the ensuing kickoff in the end zone, returned it to their own 12, gained 11 on the first play from scrimmage, and then ended up going 19 yards the other way before losing the ball on downs.
Against the Patriots, Shurmur received intense criticism in some circles for choosing to punt from his own 33 on fourth and two with 7:08 to play and down 14 points.
Shurmur also wasted a first-half timeout by challenging a ruling on the field of defensive pass interference, even though a call like that is only going to be overturned if the visual evidence shows that there was no contact whatsoever between defender and receiver. It was the second straight week he wasted a timeout on pass interference replay review; those calls and non-calls simply won’t be overturned.
With the Giants now 2-5 and entering a tough stretch of games, the scrutiny that previously enveloped guys like Eli Manning, Dave Gettleman, and John Mara could soon be hovering directly over Shurmur.