Giants head coach Joe Judge looks on during the fourth...

Giants head coach Joe Judge looks on during the fourth quarter against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday in Philadelphia. Credit: Getty Images/Tim Nwachukwu


Joe Judge isn’t getting into what-ifs, so don’t bother asking him whether he thinks he’s coming back as the Giants’ coach in 2022.

After a fourth straight loss — this one a 34-10 embarrassment against the Eagles that came a week after another humiliating NFC East loss at home to the Cowboys — the subject turned to an ESPN report Sunday morning from Adam Schefter that said Judge and quarterback Daniel Jones will be back next season.

"Just in regards to any kind of reports like that ever, I’m never going to comment on anything hypothetically about jobs, mine or anybody else’s," Judge said a few minutes after his team was blown out at Lincoln Financial Field.

Judge was asked if he’s been told he’ll be back in 2022, and he again invited reporters to talk to the hand.

"I appreciate the questions, I understand what you guys are asking," he said. "It doesn’t matter if you’re asking about me, [defensive coordinator] Pat Graham, [quarterbacks coach] Jerry Schuplinski, [secondary coach] Jerome Henderson. I’m never going to comment in a press conference. I appreciate what you have to ask. I completely understand it. Just understand I’m not going to answer the question."

The report is in keeping with recent speculation around the team that Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch would prefer not to fire a coach after two seasons for a third straight time, thereby ensuring that Judge won't face the same fate as Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur.

Schefter also suggested that embattled general manager Dave Gettleman likely will not be back — although at this point, it is a fait accompli that Gettleman won’t return in 2022. After all, his roster-building moves have been wholly insufficient in his nearly four years on the job, and his record of 19-44 since 2018 is indefensible.

But my sense is that there still is some wiggle room when it comes to not retaining the coach, even though the owners like his no-nonsense approach and believe that his ability to avoid internal dissension among the players is a big plus. They also are mindful that it is not an entirely fair fight for Judge, because he is without his starting quarterback and because Gettleman has given him an insufficient amount of talent on the roster.

Defensively, this team still is respectable, even though things got out of hand in the second half Sunday after the teams played to a 3-3 tie in the first half. Then again, the defense did give up a touchdown to right tackle Lane Johnson on a tackle-eligible pass from Jalen Hurts. Johnson was so ebullient after the only catch of his career that he raced through the end zone and jumped toward the stands to celebrate with fans.

The Giants' offense? It is not functional with either Mike Glennon or recently signed Jake Fromm at quarterback.

Given that Washington, which at least played competitively against the Eagles last Tuesday after signing quarterback Garrett Gilbert off the Patriots’ practice squad, somehow made it work with a backup quarterback, the fact that the Giants have been outscored 112-46 since Jones last played makes the case worse for Judge.

It's not as if the Giants’ offense was the second coming of Bill Walsh’s 49ers even when Jones was healthy. Scoring touchdowns took Herculean effort, and just getting to 20 points in a game felt like a remarkable achievement. It shouldn’t be that way — not in a league in which the rules are designed to make it as easy as possible to get the ball into the end zone.

Judge fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, but things actually may have gotten worse under Freddie Kitchens.

Judge is very clinical after these losses — which may be his way of maintaining an even keel and remaining consistent. But too often, he comes off as unemotional, and he’d probably do himself some favors by showing some fire.

He never says negative things about his players, but there’s nothing wrong with public criticism if it is warranted and not delivered in a mean-spirited fashion. Players want to be coached, and accepting accountability is part of that process.

Judge was given an opportunity to reveal his emotions after this latest debacle. He was asked how the loss sits with him.

"It’s not good enough, point blank," he said. "I’m not going to make any excuse to try to ‘church it up’ right there. The reality is this: You play to win the game, right? You coach to win the game. You coach to give the players an opportunity . . . Collectively, it’s not good enough. We’ve gotta do better next week."

There are only two more chances for Judge to make his case — at the Bears next Sunday and home to Washington in the regular-season finale.

The Giants had hoped that Judge would grow into the next Bill Parcells and perhaps even Bill Belichick, for whom Judge worked in New England. But he has won only 10 games in his two seasons, and he could end his second year with 23 losses in that span. Going 6-10 and 4-13 is not indicative of an upward trend, either.

Even with Sunday’s apparent vote of confidence, that’s hardly a reason for an understandably annoyed fan base to look optimistically at another year of lousy football.

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