NEW YORK GIANTS 31 – WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 19…
The New York Giants won their third game of the season by defeating the Washington Commanders 31-19 on Sunday at FedExField in Landover, Maryland. The Giants are 3-8 on the season, having swept the Commanders.
The story of the game was turnovers. The Giants did not turn the ball over while the Commanders turned it over six times. On the other hand, the Giants had no rushing yards until the last play of the 3rd quarter and allowed nine sacks to the Commanders.
Overall, the Commanders out-gained the Giants in first downs (28 to 13), total net yards (403 to 292), net yards rushing (174 to 91), net yards passing (229 to 201), and time of possession (34:51 to 25:09). The turnovers were the great equalizer.
The Giants received the ball to start the game, picked up 19 yards, and then punted. On the fourth snap of Washington’s first drive, quarterback Sam Howell’s deep pass down the middle was intercepted by cornerback Nick McCloud at the New York 13-yard line. The Giants went three-and-out on their second possession.
On the second snap of Washington’s second drive, cornerback Cor’Dale Flott forced tight end Logan Thomas to fumble after a short catch. Safety Xavier McKinney recovered the ball at the Washington 45-yard line. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-13, quarterback Tommy DeVito threw a 24-yard strike to wide receiver Darius Slayton. On the very next snap, DeVito threw a deep pass to running back Saquon Barkley in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown. Giants 7 – Commanders 0.
The Commanders responded with a 9-play, 70-yard drive that stalled at the New York 5-yard line. Washington settled for a 23-yard field goal to cut the score to 7-3. The Giants and Commanders then exchanged three-and-outs. On New York’s fifth possession, they gained 41 yards, but could not convert on 3rd-and-2 and 4th-and-2 at the Washington 34-yard line, turning the ball over on downs.
After another three-and-out by Washington, New York went ahead 14-3 with a 6-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a 40-yard touchdown pass from DeVito to Slayton. A key play on this possession with DeVito connecting with wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson for 11 yards on 3rd-and-8.
Washington responded again to the Giants’ score, this time driving 75 yards in 12 plays. With just over a minute and a half to play before halftime, Howell scrambled from seven yards out for a touchdown. The extra point was missed and the Giants led 14-9. Both teams had the ball once more before the break, but the score remained the same at halftime.
Washington received the ball to start the second half, but Nick McCloud forced the Commanders’ kick returner to fumble. Safety Gervarrius Owens recovered the loose ball at the Washington 34-yard line. Two sacks by Washington pushed New York back 11 yards and the team was forced to punt. The Commanders then kept the ball over seven and half minutes, driving 68 yards in 13 plays. They settled for a 42-yard field goal, cutting the Giants’ lead to 14-12.
The Giants gained 21 yards on a pass play to start their next possession before a penalty and sack stalled the drive. The Commanders were threatening to score again late in the 3rd quarter when inside linebacker Bobby Okereke forced the ball carrier to fumble. Fellow inside backer Micah McFadden recovered the ball at the New York 32-yard line.
The Giants ground game finally got going on the last play of the 3rd quarter with Barkley breaking off a 36-yard run to the Washington 32-yard line. DeVito then connected with tight end Daniel Bellinger for a 26-yard gain. Two plays later, on 3rd-and-goal, DeVito threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Barkley. The Giants were up 21-12 with 13:32 to play.
On their ensuing drive, Washington picked up one first down. Then on 3rd-and-10 from their own 38-yard line, Howell threw a poor deep pass that was intercepted by cornerback Darnay Holmes. The Giants proceeded to drive 46 yards in seven plays, setting up place kicker Randy Bullock for a 36-yard field goal that gave the Giants a 24-12 advantage with less than seven minutes to play.
With nothing coming easy to the 2023 New York Giants, Washington cut the score to 24-19 on their next possession. On this 12-play, 75-yard drive, the Commanders overcame a 3rd-and-20, 4th-and-10, and 4th-and-1 to keep the drive alive. The Giants got the ball back with 2:16 left in the game and were unable to pick up a first down.
Down by five, the Commanders started at their own 19-yard line with 1:49 left in the game. Washington picked up 20 yards on two plays. An interception by cornerback Tre Hawkins was erased due to Hawkins’ own illegal contact penalty, giving Washington another first down. Howell then converted on 3rd-and-2 and the Commanders were at the New York 43-yard line.
After a false start penalty on Washington moved them back five yards, safety/linebacker Isaiah Simmons sealed the game by picking off an underthrown pass from Howell and returning it 54 yards for a defensive touchdown with 16 seconds left on the clock. Ball game.
DeVito completed 18-of-26 passes for 246 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He was sacked nine times. His leading receivers were Slayton (4 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown) and Barkley (4 catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns). Barkley also carried the ball 14 times for 83 yards.
Defensively, the Giants picked off three passes and recovered two fumbles (another fumble being recovered on special teams). Outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux was credited with two sacks with nose tackle Dexter Lawrence and outside linebacker Jihad Ward also getting to Howell. The defense also had six tackles for losses and eight pass defenses.
GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.
PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) TE Tyree Jackson and PK Randy Bullock from the Practice Squad.
Inactive for the game were RT Evan Neal (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (concussion), S Bobby McCain (illness), RB Deon Jackson, OT Joshua Miles, DL Jordon Riley, and PK Cade York.
WR Darius Slayton (arm) left the game and did not return.
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video)
- QB Tommy DeVito (Video)
- RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
- NT Dexter Lawrence
- OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (Video)
- ILB Bobby Okereke
- S/LB Isaiah Simmons (Video)
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.