It's hard to imagine a worse way for the Washington Football Team to have closed its 2021 season than what we have witnessed over the last month.
Washington was 6-6 entering the home stretch of its campaign but lost four straight to NFC East division rivals, including a hideous, blowout loss to Dallas in primetime. A COVID-19 outbreak took away several key players, quarterback Taylor Heinicke regressed significantly in the games he was able to play and everything seemingly came to a head when Jonathan Allen took a swing at Daron Payne.
It was a bad look in an ugly loss. It was bad enough that New York Giants coach Joe Judge appeared to reference it in a postgame rant of his own this past week.
Now, it's one thing for Washington to take its fair share of "L's" from the Cowboys and Eagles. Washington went 0-4 against those two teams this year and is, by any measure, chasing them for NFC East supremacy for the foreseeable future despite winning the division in 2020.
It's an entirely different situation for the Giants to throw stones. An ironic one, even.
For all of Washington's warts this year on the field or the sideline, they haven't looked nearly as bad as the Giants have in Year 2 of Judge's tenure. At 4-12 entering the final week of the year, New York owns the worst record in the NFL over the last five years and isn't any closer to winning a playoff game than they were after the infamous Miami boat picture in 2017.
The Giants even had their own intra-squad brawl during training camp that resulted in quarterback Daniel Jones falling to the bottom of a pile of bodies. Oh, and there was Kenny Golladay yelling at former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett mid-game in Week 2.
This isn't the first time Judge's words haven't exactly matched the actions of his team, either. After the Eagles supposedly tanked the last game of the 2020 season against Washington, knocking the 6-10 Giants out of the playoff race, Judge gave a long-winded statement about respecting the game and how his team will never do what Philadelphia allegedly did that fateful night.
Surprisingly, the Giants have had the look of a tanking team since they shut down Jones for the rest of the season. They've lost five straight games after their Week 12 win against Philly and the games haven't been that close either. Across those five contests, New York has lost by an average of 18.4 points.
They're either letting Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm throw the ball a combined 44 times like in Week 16, or running it over and over despite trailing by multiple scores against the Bears. Are the Giants tanking? Who's to say? This is simply to demonstrate the problem with grandstanding on how other teams operate when your own situation is a tire fire.
There are several levels of misery in the NFL. While there are few teams with worse on-field production than Washington in recent years, the Giants are certainly one of them.