The New York Giants held on to defeat the Washington Football Team, 23-20, at FedExField Sunday afternoon. The Giants improved to 2-7 on the season and the Football Team dropped to 2-6. The Giants had five takeaways in the game and did not turn the ball over once.
With the Giants leading by three at 5:26 in the first quarter, Riley Dixon’s punt was muffed by Isaiah Wright and then recovered by New York at the Washington 16-yard line. The Giants took advantage of the turnover when Wayne Gallman rushed for an easy 2-yard touchdown to take a 10-0 lead.
With just over a minute left in the first quarter, Kyle Allen was sacked by Jabrill Peppers and injured his ankle on the play. He had to be carted off the field and backup QB Alex Smith entered the game for Washington.
With the score at 13-3 and just over two minutes to play in the first half, Jones connected with Evan Engram, who made a diving 16-yard touchdown catch to extend the Giants’ lead to 20-3. The touchdown catch was Engram’s first of the season.
Washington put together its strongest drive of the half in the final minute but Blake Martinez intercepted Smith’s pass intended for J.D. McKissic, allowing New York to take a 17-point lead into the locker room.
The Football Team outscored the Giants 7-3 in the third quarter. Washington’s Dustin Hopkins converted a 44-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter to make it 23-13.
With 12:58 to play in the game, Jones looked to complete what would have been an 18-yard pass over the middle. But a wide-open Engram dropped it, stalling the Giants’ drive. On the Football Team’s next possession, they pulled to within three as Smith completed a 68-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin.
The Football Team drove down the field and approached field goal territory with just under two-and-a-half minutes left in the game when Peppers intercepted Smith’s pass to give the Giants back the ball at their own 46-yard line. The Giants used just 18 seconds on the clock before giving the ball right back to Washington.
Logan Ryan sealed the deal for the Giants though when he intercepted Smith’s pass intended for McLaurin with 1:23 left in the game. Despite being outscored 17-3 in the second half, New York held on to win, 23-20.
The Giants led, 20-3, at the half.
The Giants ran 44 first-half plays to 21 for the Football Team, and the Giants held the ball for 18:44 to 11:16 for Washington. The Giants had 244 offensive first-half yards while Washington recorded 132.
From the Giants’ first two possessions, it was clear that their approach to Sunday’s game was different. On the opening drive of the game, New York elected to go for it on fourth-and-1 on the Washington 35-yard line. They were unable to convert, but the decision highlighted aggressive play calling by the Giants.
On Washington’s following drive, Allen completed a pass to Antonio Gibson for 22 yards but he fumbled the football and Jabrill Peppers recovered it. On the Giants’ following drive, Jones completed a 50-yard pass to rookie Austin Mack. The Giants have not had much success converting on explosive plays so this pass, which set up a 38-yard field goal by Graham Gano, was a step in the right direction.
The Giants scored 10 points off of Washington’s three turnovers in the half and they scored on four of their six possessions.
Jones was 12 of 22 for 141 yards and one touchdown in the first half. Smith was 6 of 8 for 65 yards, with one interception.
Jones was 23 of 34 on the day with 212 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
Gallman had 14 rushing attempts on the day for 68 yards and one touchdown. Alfred Morris had 9 carries for 67 yards.
Austin Mack recorded five receptions for 72 yards in the game.
The Giants will return home next week to face the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. at MetLife Stadium. The game will be broadcast on FOX.