The New York Giants nearly blew it, but late turnovers proved crucial in Big Blue’s 23-20 victory over Washington.
Look no further, ladies and gentlemen. The New York Giants have won a game, notching their second victory of the season against the Washington Football Team by a score of 23-20.
The Giants weren’t at all perfect in this matchup, but perfection wasn’t required. In the end, they bent, but refused to break.
New York’s offensive unit wasn’t exactly the most efficient, only gaining a total of 350 yards, inferior to Washington’s 402. The 11-man group couldn’t consistently convert on third downs either, going 6-for-15 in those regards.
The Giants offensive line additionally wasn’t great, allowing the tough Washington defense to sack Daniel Jones five times.
While the defense has been fairly strong all year, it couldn’t consistently step up, even with starting quarterback Kyle Allen knocked out of the game. The Giants allowed 365 net passing yards despite the Football Team in the first half resorting to Alex Smith, their primary backup.
And finally, the defense let up 17 points in the second half after it allowed just three in the opening pair of quarters. The struggles on that side of the football converted a 17-point Giants lead into a three-point game late in the fourth quarter.
The Giants didn’t do a whole lot of things right, but all it takes is a few plays to change a game, and New York certainly located those sparks in the key moments.
Late in the matchup, while up by three, the Giants utilized their pass rush — a unit that carries significant potential — to force an overthrow from Smith. The pass, intended for running back J.D. McKissic, then landed in the arms of Jabrill Peppers.
The turnover didn’t lead to points, but at least gave the Giants defense a breather and took some crucial seconds off the clock. Regardless, the Giants went three-and-out on the subsequent possession, providing Washington with one final chance to potentially tie or take the lead in the waning minutes.
The defense then stepped up once again.
With the pocket collapsing just a tad bit, Smith stepped up on a 2nd-and-6 play and fired the ball towards Terry McLaurin’s direction. But instead of landing in the second-year receiver’s hands, the pass found it’s way to the arms of Logan Ryan, who attempted to return it prior to giving himself up and falling on the natural grass of FedEx Field.
The interception — Ryan’s first of the year and first as a Giant — sealed the victory for Big Blue. Their second win of the season (both over Washington) moves the Giants to 2-7, a mark that keeps them in the basement of the NFC East for the time being.
Sunday afternoon’s matchup in Landover, Maryland proved you don’t have to be perfect to win a football game — to be honest, when is any team ever perfect?
Nevertheless, you must step up in the big moments. The Giants certainly did so in Week 9, ousting their division rivals for the fifth consecutive time (dating back to 2018).
Two wins. Seven defeats. Back to MetLife Stadium for the Eagles next Sunday.