New York Giants Tae Crowder
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The 2020 NFL Draft’s “Mr. Irrelevant” didn’t live up to his title on Sunday, coming up big in the New York Giants’ first victory of the year.

One play can change everything. One play can shift the momentum, alter the tempo, and play a crucial role in such an important matchup.

That one play arrived for the New York Giants against Washington on Sunday, fans just needed to remain patient to witness it.

In the latter stages of what was a defensive battle between the pair of struggling NFC East ballclubs, Washington possessed control of the ball en route to potentially taking the lead.

That’s when the Giants pass rush, inconsistently utilized at times, came up big, along with rookie seventh-round pick and 2020 “Mr. Irrelevant” Tae Crowder.

With Kyle Allen back to pass on a 3rd-and-9 play just past midfield, free-agent pickup Kyler Fackrell came on the rush, ultimately leading to the Washington quarterback coughing up the football.

That’s when the magic was just commencing though.

A ball that bounced around the ground for what seemed like forever was eventually scooped up by Crowder, the final overall selection in April’s annual draft. The jets were turned on along with the (electronic) crowd noise in East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium, and with one last block towards the end of the run, Crowder was able to find the end zone for the biggest play of his young career thus far.

A crucial play that didn’t just give the Giants the lead (and the eventual 20-19 win for their inaugural victory of the season), but additionally proved that Crowder carries the potential to not live up to the “Mr. Irrelevant” title he was given nearly six months ago.

It was a matchup in which the Giants offense didn’t shine, once again. Devonta Freeman only averaged 3.4 yards per carry (61 yards on 18 rushes), proving the running back unit still isn’t playing up to par without the superstar that is Saquon Barkley. Although throwing his first touchdown pass since Week 1 (a 23-yard dime to Darius Slayton in the back corner of the end zone), Daniel Jones didn’t exactly play fantastic, only throwing for 112 yards and succumbing to his weekly turnover — a third-quarter pick in the end zone.

But as was said earlier in the week, the Giants defense needed to step up and make the necessary plays in order to take much of the responsibility off of this weak and struggling offensive unit.

And that’s exactly what occurred — a strong enough defensive performance headlined by Crowder becoming the most loved guy within this Giants group, even if it may just be for a few days.

It goes to show that when a not-so-great title, such as “Mr. Irrelevant,” is provided to you, you can either let it take control, or you can prove it false.

The former Georgia Bulldog still has a long way to go in his NFL playing days. But on Sunday, in the midst of Joe Judge‘s first head-coaching victory, Crowder wasn’t so irrelevant. That’s for sure.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.