EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — After putting up decent efforts in their first two games under Joe Judge, the winless New York Giants took a major step back in Week 3.
Not only was it a step in the wrong direction, the Giants' performance in the 36-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers was embarrassing Sunday.
The Niners (2-1) came into the game missing at least eight starters after an injury-filled win over the New York Jets last weekend. They were going to rely on backup quarterback Nick Mullen and a defense that would be missing four starters, including NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa.
The San Francisco backups put on a flawless performance on both sides of the ball. Mullen and the offense had the ball nearly 40 minutes and probably should have scored on their first eight possessions. The Giants turned the ball over three times and never ran a play in the red zone.
“I think it was definitely disappointing,” said Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who threw an interception and lost a fumble. “I don't think any of us came in expecting this but as a team we can't let this affect our confidence going forward. I am confident of the guys we have in the locker room and the mindset we have. We have to take it and learn from it and not let this situation define us.”
The Giants were respectable in a season-opening 26-16 loss to the Steelers. They had a chance on the final play to win in a 17-13 loss to the Bears last week. This week, they were blown out after halftime.
Judge was reluctant to comment on the game before looking at the film. He said the team played hard but it made too many mistakes. He said the players have to stick together and the coaches need to do a better job.
“There is no magic formula,” Judge said. “There is no magic want. We have to go out there and solve every problem in a day. It's a day-by-day process.”
Judge insisted winning is the result of preparation and execution. Eliminate the mistakes, and there is a chance to win.
There was not a chance on Sunday,
Defensive end Leonard Williams, who had five tackles, a sack and two quarterback hits, said the players still believe in what they are doing.
Williams said he watched the players in the locker room as Judge talked after the game. He sensed they were still on board.
“We obviously got beat, more in the second half than the first," Williams said. “The first half we started really fast. That's something we have to look at. We have to work on finishing and executing when we need to, on important downs and in important situations.”
One of the biggest mistakes for the Giants came in the second quarter with the game tied at 6. San Francisco faced a third-and-22 from its 44 when rookie cornerback Darnay Holmes was called for illegal contact. It gave the Niners a first down and they scored a go-ahead touchdown on a 10-yard run by Jerick McKinnon.
“I told the players, regardless of whether you win or lose, there’s always things to work on and improve, you never play a perfect game,” Judge said. “We got to focus right now on seeing the things that are putting ourselves behind, we got to push forward and make sure we make these.”
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL .