The New York Giants and Washington Commanders fought a miscue-filled battle on Sunday, but the Giants emerged victorious in the end, 14-7. A late red zone stand preserved the win for New York, earning them their second win of the season. The Giants did almost everything in their power to give the game back to Washington after taking a 14-0 lead, but their defense held strong at the end for Brian Daboll’s squad.
The Giants entered the game having not scored an offensive touchdown in over three games. Their scoreless streak ended 42 seconds into the second quarter on a 15-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to Darren Waller. It was 220 minutes and 42 seconds since New York’s offense had previously gotten in the end zone; Matt Breida’s 8-yard scamper against the 49ers was a distant memory at that point.
The Giants then doubled down with another touchdown in the first half, this one a 32-yard touchdown toss from Taylor to Saquon Barkley. It was a two-yard dump-off that Barkley took to the house, showcasing just how much the Giants’ offense missed No. 26 during his three-game absence.
Naturally, those were the only two scores the Giants put on the board on Sunday.
Sam Howell entered the game as the NFL’s most-pressured and most-sacked quarterback. The Giants took full advantage, bringing Howell down six times. Dexter Lawrence exploded for 2.0 sacks, his first two of the season, and Kayvon Thibodeaux added 1.5 of his own.
Thibodeaux could have made his day even more special, but he dropped what would have been an easy pick-six on a desperation wobbler from Howell.
Nearly back-breaking turnovers
The Giants put Sterling Shepard back to return punts after Eric Gray went down with a calf injury. Shepard promptly muffed a punt deep in Giants territory, giving the Commanders life after they had failed to advance the ball on their first drive of the second half. The Commanders promptly turned that into a touchdown, aided by a fourth-and-1 conversion.
Shepard had not previously returned a punt in his entire NFL career. Still, with Adoree’ Jackson inactive, the Giants were forced into another bad situation in the return game, with predictably unfortunate results. After that mistake, the Giants put Darius Slayton back for punts; he had also never returned a punt before in the NFL. Slayton returned nine kickoffs during the 2019 season.
Later, with under eight minutes remaining in the game and the Giants in the red zone, Barkley fumbled to give the Commanders the ball and a chance to tie.
- Tyrod Taylor: 18-for-29, 279 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 4 sacks, 116.9 passer rating; 10 rushes, 66 yards
- Saquon Barkley: 21 rushes, 77 yards, 1 fumble lost; 4 targets, 3 receptions, 41 yards, 1 TD
- Darren Waller: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 98 yards, 1 TD
- Jalin Hyatt: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 74 yards
- Wan’Dale Robinson: 2 targets, 1 receptions, 22 yards
- Darius Slayton: 2 targets, 1 receptions, 22 yards
For Washington, Sam Howell went 22-for-42 for 249 yards with an interception and a 60.5 passer rating. He spread the ball around to Terry McLaurin (six catches, 90 yards), Logan Thomas (four for 51 yards), Jahan Dotson (five for 43), and Curtis Samuel (four for 25).
First-round pick Deonte Banks recorded his first career interception, picking off Sam Howell at the 9:43 mark of the second quarter. It was on a deep pass intended for Jahan Dotson.
Gary Brightwell was ruled out of the game with a hamstring injury. Eric Gray also left with a calf injury.
Barkley appeared to injure his left arm in the first quarter, but he played through it.
The Giants’ skid-breaking touchdown was a beautiful back-shoulder throw from Tyrod Taylor to Darren Waller. It was third-and-goal from the 15, and Taylor threaded the needle for the score.
A touchdown for Darren Waller!— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) October 22, 2023
Great throw from Tyrod to the backshoulder on 3rd & 15 to score the first offensive touchdown since Week 3 pic.twitter.com/CPM9sEnj5t
Later in the second quarter, Banks nabbed his first NFL pick.
Deonte Banks with his first career interception. Saquon Barkley would score a receiving touchdown a few plays later. pic.twitter.com/iz26SKyrLl— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) October 22, 2023
Banks’ pick set up the Giants’ second offensive touchdown on a vintage Saquon moment.
Lawrence and Thibodeaux had some meetings at the quarterback throughout the game.
SEXY DEXY AND KAYVON THIBODEAUX SACKS— evin (@KayvonOjulari) October 22, 2023
The Commanders tried to kick a 27-yard field goal to pull within 14-10, but Leonard Williams had other ideas.
- QB Daniel Jones
- CB Adoree’ Jackson
- C John Michael Schmitz
- RT Evan Neal
- OT Matt Peart
- LT Andrew Thomas
- DT Jordon Riley
The Giants elevated OT Jalen Mayfield and QB Tommy DeVito from the practice squad.
The Giants (2-5) stay at MetLife Stadium next week to face the crosstown rival New York Jets (3-3).
- The Giants celebrate a blocked field goal. Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images
- Leonard Williams blocks a field goal. Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images
- Dexter Lawrence had a terrific games. Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images
- Jason Pinnock (27) celebrates a sack. Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images
- Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images
- Kayvon Thibodeaux reacts after dropping an interception. Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images
- Tyrod Taylor runs the offense. Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images
- The Giants gang-tackle Washington running back Antonio Gibson. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
- Dexter Lawrence celebrates a sack. Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images
- Saquon Barkley celebrates a touchdown. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
- Tae Banks after an interception. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
- Darren Waller runs after a catch. Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images
- Wan’Dale Robinson runs with the ball.