General manager Dave Gettleman was afforded the opportunity to stand on the field at MetLife Stadium with his friends and family in what was likely his final game with the team before his Giants turned in another miserable showing in a 22-7 loss against the Washington Football Team
Whether he’s fired or if he retires, it was a send-off that the executive hardly deserved considering he helped run the once-proud Giants organization straight into the ground — something that should have led to his firing at some point over the last two seasons.
The Giants finished the 2021 season 4-13 after Sunday’s finale as the offense once again could not muster much.
Jake Fromm — New York’s third-string quarterback — completed just 15-of-31 passes for 103 yards, one touchdown, and three turnovers, which was remarkably a step forward from the Giants’ horrendous 29-3 loss to the Chicago Bears a week prior in which they yielded a net of -10 yards.
Over their last four games with Mike Glennon and Fromm under center, the Giants combined to score just 26 points; and it all ended so fittingly when Fromm was intercepted for a second time on the day by Bobby McCain on the final play of the season.
Fromm wasn’t afforded much to work with, though. Head coach Joe Judge — whose job should be in question after going 9-23 over his two seasons at the helm — showed zero motivation to attack with what little reinforcements they had. The offensive line didn’t help much, either. Especially in the running game when Saquon Barkley’s 102-yard day against Chicago was followed up by just 30 yards on 11 carries on Sunday.
Washington nearly doubled the Giants’ total offensive output, outgaining New York 325-177 behind Antonio Gibson’s monster 146-yard, one-touchdown outing.
Following a Washington opening-drive field goal and a horrendous jet-sweep call on a 4th-&-1 that saw Alex Bachman lit up in the backfield led the Giants to turn the ball over on downs at WFT’s 32-yard-line, the teams traded eight straight consecutive punts.
The sixth punt of that sequence came with just over four minutes to go in the first half from the Giants on their own 5-yard-line after running two consecutive quarterback sneaks with Fromm on a 2nd-&-11 and a 3rd-&-9 rather than trying to run a traditional pass play.
Quite an indictment of just how little confidence a Giants team with nothing to lose had in their inept offense — yet a mystifying decision nonetheless that was greeted with a chorus of boos from the MetLife Stadium crowd.
This isn't on Jake Fromm. If you don't trust your players enough to even hand the ball off on third-and-long inside your own 10-yard line in *Week 18*, it's on the coaching staff. pic.twitter.com/eaUnmSZjDE
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) January 9, 2022
The streak of futility finally ended at the first-half gun as a second field goal as time expired gave Washington a 6-0 lead going into the break.
After a pair of punts to start the second half, the Giants’ hole grew to 12 when his short pass intended for Evan Engram was picked off by Bobby McCain and returned 30 yards for the pick-six touchdown with 3:42 to go in the third quarter.
It was methodical, it was painstaking, it included two fourth-down conversions to Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay, but the Giants finally got on the board with 11:24 left in the fourth when Fromm hit Darius Slayton for a 22-yard touchdown — the first scoring pass of his career — to get within five.
First career TD pass for Jake Fromm 👏
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) January 9, 2022
It was the Giants’ first touchdown in eight quarters, their second in 44 drives, and the first touchdown by a wide receiver since Week 7.
But Washington provided a swift answer, which deservedly came from Gibson, who sliced through the Giants’ defense for an 18-yard score to extend its lead back to 12 with 6:28 to go.
On the very next play, Fromm fumbled it away — the ball simply falling out of his hands untouched — to give Washington the ball on the Giants’ 12-yard-line that led to another field goal for the visitors.