After a brutal turnover late in the fourth quarter on top of some great luck, the Washington Football Team earned their first victory of the season against the New York Giants.
It was a back and forth ride for the ages. From missed field goals (almost) to late-game interceptions, this football game had everything you could ever dream of when it comes to division-battling football.
The Washington Football Team came into Thursday night without a win on the record, facing a New York Giants team that has had their number over the last five meetings.
Led by quarterback Daniel Jones, the New York Giants have had their way with Washington no matter what regime this franchise was under.
This game looked like it was starting at the same exact way, as Washington gave up a near six-minute drive ending in a Daniel Jones rushing touchdown.
The score put the Giants up seven early, but Washington answered two drives later with a touchdown of their own. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin caught four balls on their third drive of the game.
His four catches led to Washington’s first score of the game, an 11-yard touchdown grab on a post route.
After both teams traded three and outs, the Giants’ ensuing drive had a question-mark-filled aftertaste to it, after Daniel Jones was believed to have scored on a 58-yard scramble, but it was nullified after CJ Board was flagged for holding CB William Jackson III.
The Giants ultimately took the lead back on this drive after ex-Washington kicker, Graham Gano, split the uprights with a 23-yard field goal. It was the first of his five field goals on the night.
Their lead lasted just three minutes of total game time, as Taylor Heinicke drove Washington on an 84-yard drive that ended with a high-risk play call from Scott Turner. J.D. McKissic scored on an off tackle run to the left side, scoring a touchdown from two yards out to put the Football Team up 14-10
The second half began with New York capturing the lead off of their first two drives of the half, with Daniel Jones dropping a football in the breadbasket of wideout Darius Slayton. Slayton scored his first touchdown of the year, beating CB William Jackson III on a go-route.
Both teams traded field goals entering the fourth quarter, as New York had a six-point lead over the Football Team with under eight minutes left in the ball-game. Prior to going up by a score of 26-20, one of the biggest moments of the game came with under seven minutes left in the game.
Jones found Slayton once again wide open down the field. As Slayton went to track the ball, the wideout dropped what should have been a walk-in score. The biggest drop of his career parlayed itself into two straight false start calls for the Giants, as they drove themselves out of red-zone range and had to settle for a 55-yard field goal. This put them up six, but a score would’ve made this game a two-possession game.
Then, out of nowhere on the following drive, Heinicke pulled off magic. He drove Washington on a two-play, 75-yard drive that ended with one of the biggest plays in recent memory, finding TE Ricky Seals-Jones in the back of the end zone for one of the greatest catches we can recall watching at FedEx Field. This big-time moment put the Football Team up by a score of 27-26 with under five minutes left in the ball game.
After Washington’s defense held the Giants to a punt, the Football Team found themselves in “winning position”, after having the ball, with a lead, late in the fourth quarter. Questionable play-calling mixed with poor execution led to a late-game Heinicke interception by James Bradberry.
Bradberry picked off Heinicke at the Washington 20-yard line. It was one of the biggest gut-pinching interceptions that you will see, and the Football Team found themselves in a brutal hole.
Bradberry’s clutch interception later led to another Gano field goal with just over two minutes left in the ballgame. The score after Gano’s fifth field goal of the night was a 29-27 lead, giving Washington the ball back on their own 25 yard line with two minutes and one timeout left.
It was then, where Taylor Heinicke led Washington on an 11 play, 40-yard drive that ended with a Dustin Hopkins game-winning 43 yard field goal. But it wasn’t that simple.
Washington displayed questionable time management ability, as they seemingly were running their office with their hair caught on fire. A lack of judgment as a pertains to time management lead to a near mishap prior to snapping their game-winning field goal try.
Their initial attempt came from 48 yards out, and Hopkins shanked the kick to the right. The game was thought to be over, but officials flagged DL Dexter Lawrence for jumping offside. A major penalty gave Hopkins one more chance at glory.
The kick went up, faded to the left, but hooked just inside to give Washington their first victory of the year. This walk-off victory was Washington’s first win under these circumstances in years. Fans, media members and the organization hasn’t dealt with walk-off victories much within the last decade, but this was a major anxiety relief, as Dustin Hopkins, normally automatic from inside 45 yards, nailed one of the biggest kicks of his career.
This was Washington’s first victory of the season, led by quarterback Taylor Heinicke. The “legend” of Taylor Heinicke continues, as the ODU alum posted a statistical line of 34/46 for 336 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The visiting quarterback, Daniel Jones, posted up numbers of 22/32 for 249 yards and one touchdown strike.
Both quarterbacks played very well-rounded games, both played better than the numbers showed. Washington will now face Buffalo next Sunday, Sept. 26. In the Giants case, they’ll be looking to grab their first victory of the season against the Atlanta Falcons on September 26.