The New York Giants came into their Week 9 showdown with the Washington Football Team looking to build on their strong performances over the past month, which included a 20-19 win over Washington in Week 6.
The point spread, favoring Washington, had dipped to 2.5 points down from 3.5 points earlier in the week in anticipation of the Giants continuing their four-game winning streak over the WFT. The over/under was astutely set at 43.5 points predicting another tight defensive game. The Giants won the first meeting on a fumble return for a touchdown by linebacker Tae Crowder.
This time around it looked like the Giants would waltz to an easy win, but that hasn’t been their modus operandi this season. Only one of their games has been decided by ten or more points.
The Giants had a commanding 20-3 lead at halftime and led 23-10 with a little more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter. But like many of their games this season, the Giants could not seem to distance themselves from Washington, allowing the WFT to get back in the ballgame in the fourth quarter on a 68-yard catch and run by WFT wideout Terry McLaurin on a pass from Alex Smith.
The Giants’ secondary misses several tackles on the play, which narrowed the score to 23-20.
Smith relieved Kyle Allen, who left the game in the first half after getting leg-whipped (accidentally) by Giants’ safety Jabrill Peppers. Smith passed for 325 yards but threw two interceptions on the WFT’s final two drives — one to Peppers and the other to Logan Ryan.
With the 23-20 victory, the Giants improved to 2-7 but remained in last place in the NFC East. Daniel Jones (23/34, 212 yards passing, 1 TD 0 INT) did not turn the football over in this game. It is only the second time in his 22-game NFL career that he’s played a clean game. The other was last year’s win in Week 16 at Washington.
Jones is now 4-0 against Washington. Considering he only has five wins in his career (Tampa Bay is the other), that’s pretty amazing.
- The Giants rushed for a season-high 166 yards, led by Wayne Gallman (68 yards) and Alfred Morris (67).
- Tight end Evan Engram made a nice fingertip catch for a touchdown but dropped an easy first down in the third quarter and was called for a pick that led to a stalled crucial drive in the fourth quarter. His erratic play has to be inching him closer to the door after the season.
- Rookie UDFA wide receiver Austin Mack filled in for the absent Golden Tate, who did not travel with the team. He had four grabs for 72 yards including a 50-yarder.
- PK Graham Gano hit three more field goals (38, 48, and 42 yards) extending his consecutive streak to 18 kicks.
- Ryan had another strong game with six total tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble. Peppers also excelled with six total tackles, three passes defended, an interception, and fumble recovery.
- Defensive tackle Leonard Williams recorded his team-leading fifth sack.
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