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‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review of Giants vs. Washington

Giants had plenty of heroes on Sunday

NFL: Washington Football Team at New York Giants
Tae Crowder scores a touchdown after recovering a fumble on Sunday.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

As we always do, let’s review Sunday’s New York Giants game — this one a 20-19 victory over the Washington Football Team — in ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ style.

Kudos to ...

Kyler Fackrell — I wasn’t sure what the Giants were getting when they signed Fackrell as a free agent. After all, his resume included three pedestrian NFL seasons and one good one. Fackrell, though, is proving to be a critical player for the Giants. He had the sack/forced fumble that led to Tae Crowder’s winning touchdown. After returning an interception for a score in Week 5, Fackrell has been part of defensive scores two straight weeks.

Tae Crowder — Crowder is becoming an integral part of the Giants’ defense. He started for the second straight week, and turned in a critical play with his scoop and score fumble recovery. Crowder had the presence of mind after Kyler Fackrell caused a Kyle Allen fumble to understand the situation, realize there was nothing but open space in front of him, fight the urge to just fall on the ball, pick it up and sprint to the end zone for what turned out to the game-winning touchdown.

Crowder also made 10 tackles.

Darius Slayton — It is painfully obvious that the second-year wide receiver is playing through a fairly significant foot injury. He comes up hobbling every time the ball is thrown his way. He continues, though, to be productive. He had only two catches Sunday for 41 yards, but one was a 23-yard touchdown catch.

Matt Peart — The Giants’ third-round pick acquitted himself quite well in his first NFL start. Playing left tackle, not his natural spot, due to Andrew Thomas being disciplined for tardiness to a Saturday night meeting, Peart held up just fine. He played a couple of first-half series, then split time with Thomas in the second half.

For me, the right reaction is not to call for Peart to replace Thomas as the starting left tackle. It’s to wonder how much longer the Giants can justify playing Cameron Fleming at right tackle and keeping Peart out of the lineup.

James Bradberry — The Giants’ best cornerback made a huge first-quarter interception to set up their first touchdown. Bradberry gives up a few catches, but this guy competes and he’s smart. The interception was a zone coverage where Bradberry appeared to drop right into the window into which Washington quarterback Kyle Allen was attempting to throw.

Offensive line — In the buildup to Sunday’s game, we talked a lot about Thomas vs. highly-touted rookie chase Young. Washington also has Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen. Jones, though, was sacked only once and Pro Football Focus charted only five pressures allowed in 20 drop backs. The Giants also ran the ball pretty well, with Devonta Freeman finding space for valuable yards and Daniel Jones making the big run of the game with his 49-yarder.

The Giants ended up running the ball 26 times while passing it only 19, and against a team with a pass rush like Washington’s I’m fine with that. This was definitely a step forward for the Giants’ offensive line.

Wet Willies to ...

Andrew Thomas — Late to a meeting? At least he owned up to it.

Red zone offense — The Giants went 0 for 3 in the red zone, with the Jones turnover killing a 14-play drive and being forced to settle for a pair of Graham Gano field goals on the other two trips.

The Giants’ first drive stalled after reaching the Washington 13-yard line. In the second quarter, they went backwards on successive plays after reaching the Washington 6-yard line. Then, of course, the Jones interception.

Two-minute defense — It’s been a bugaboo for the Giants all season, and it was again on Sunday. The Giants gave up a touchdown at the end of the first half on a 13-play, 60-yard drive aided by a running into the kicker penalty that allowed Washington to go for a first down and convert on fourth and 4 rather than punt on fourth and 9. In the final 3:29, they surrendered a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that nearly won Washington the game.

The Giants made a successful stand on the two-point conversion, but they nearly cost themselves this game with failures to get stops in two-minute situations. They have to figure that out.

Kwillies to ...

Daniel Jones — Here we are again. Jones did some great things on Sunday. He used his legs for 74 yards rushing, including a 49-yard run that showed his 4.81 40-yard dash speed. He threw a touchdown pass. He got through a game without a fumble.

Still, there was the devastating third quarter interception that killed a 14-play drive that had reached the Washington 7-yard line. With the Giants poised to score a touchdown that would have given them a 20-10 lead, Jones tried to throw a ball out the back of the end zone, didn’t get enough on it as he was pressured by Chase Young, and Kendall Fuller came down with the interception.

This was eerily similar to the Week 1 goal line interception Jones threw against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he waited too long to try and throw a pass away, with that interception also ending a long drive inside the 10-yard line.