There was a moment — a few of them, actually — when the impossible seemed possible and maybe even probable.
The Giants had a 24-19 lead in the fourth-quarter after failing to finish the game on the field with their offensive. Does this sound familiar?
The Giants were running out of gas, but the Commanders had it and were able move on them. Does this sound familiar?
Washington crossed midfield as the clock was ticking down, but the Giants were unable to secure anything in the last minute. Could this happen? Could the Giants win a match in which they held a 5-1 advantage in turnovers
Yes, that’s right.
In the first 59 minute, Giants recorded two interceptions as well as three fumble recoverys. This rare and decisive giveaway-takeaway difference only produced a five point advantage.
The Giants were defeated in Buffalo earlier this season despite having a turnover margin of 3-0. This — a plus-five turnover advantage — would have been an even more catastrophic and historic defeat.
Turnover No. Isaiah Simmons’ interception, which he turned into a six-point pick, was the sixth that allowed the Giants seal the deal at FedEx Field and claim a 31-19 win.
Here’s a peek inside the game.
You must wonder where Tommy DeVito will be in a year. Is he now the Giants’ backup quarterback? He is again the Giants’ practice squad/emergency call-up quarterback? Is he playing for another team? Is he no longer in the league?
DeVito’s four-game journey saw him go from being a joke (outside New Jersey) when he played his NFL debut during a rainstorm and was not allowed to throw the football in the wet conditions in a disappointing loss to the Jets, to an off the bench replacement in Las Vegas as Daniel Jones retired for the season, then a disastrous first-half in a blowout in Dallas before becoming the catalyst in Landover Md.
This is already way, way more than anyone could have predicted for an undrafted rookie from Cedar Grove who lives with his parents and talks about his mom’s chicken cutlets.
What was a novelty act to get a losing team through a few story cycles is now — what?
DeVito, who is on the injured reserve list for Tyrod Taylor, will play at least one game more. In 2024, the Giants may have a quarterback via a high NFL Draft pick. Jones is returning to football after surgery to repair his torn ACL. Taylor’s contract expires after this season.
DeVito has managed to get himself on the list of candidates for some sort of position. This is a surprising development.
Washington’s franchise is one thing the Giants have to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving season.
The Giants struggle to compete with Cowboys and Eagles in the NFC East, but have great success when they play the Commanders. The Giants won eight of their 11 last games against the only team in their division.
“I don’t know what it is about the Giants,’’ Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson said. “We don’t come to play when we play them.’’
Mike Kafka did some of his best work as offensive coordinator. DeVito’s life was made easier by play designs which led to big plays.
On the 40-yard touchdown connection with Darius Slayton in the second quarter, Slayton ran free — wide, wide open — helped by a play-action sell-job by DeVito and a complete defensive bust by the Commanders.
Kafka’s best moment came on the first play of the fourth quarter, with the Giants leading 14-12 and bogged down on offense. DeVito faked a handoff to Saquon Barkley and then faked an end-around to Wan’Dale Robinson. This motion put the Commanders behind the game and in the confusion, Daniel Bellinger took advantage. DeVito threw the ball easily, Bellinger ran with room and gained 26 yards to Washington’s six-yard line. Barkley then scored two plays later on a 5-yard reception.
“Thought Kafka called a good game and some wide open guys,’’ coach Brian Daboll said.
The final margin of 12 points was due to an interception returned for a touchdown in the closing seconds. That is, remarkably, the second-highest victory margin in Daboll’s two seasons as the head coach.
The Giants mauled the Colts, 38-10, on New Year’s Day last season. Other than that, winning has been a close-call adventure for Daboll’s Giants.
The team won by 12 points, despite being outgained on total yards (403-292), rushing yards (174-91) or first downs (29) What’s the reason? The five turnovers that were forced by the defense.
The six total takeaways — there was a recovered fumble on special teams — were the most by the Giants in a game in more than nine years. They had six takeaways on Sept. 25, 2014 against — wait for it — Washington in an easy 35-14 victory.
DeVito became the first Giants quarterback since 1950 to have at least five touchdowns in his first two NFL appearances. DeVito had six touchdowns and three interceptions in his four appearances.
DeVito is still impressive. On third downs he completed 7 of 8 passes for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s a perfect passer rate of 158.3. This is quite impressive.
It is not surprising that this was the first time in Giants history they won a match after allowing nine quarterback sacks.
The Giants had previously given up 11 sacks against the Seahawks, and eight to the Raiders. Both of these games were lost.
Saquon has always considered himself an offensive weapon due to his ability as a passer-catcher. He is tied for the most touchdown receptions in his career, which he achieved as a rookie. This season, he has scored only one touchdown rushing.
When was the last time Barkley caught two touchdowns in a single game? It was his fifth NFL match, where he had two touchdown receptions from Eli Manning.
Take a look at the NFL leaders in sacks and you do not have to scan too far down the list to find Kayvon Thibodeaux’ name.
Micah Parsons (Cowboys) is the only player ahead of Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux is followed by Myles Garrett (13), Danielle Hunter (12), T.J. Watt (11.5) and Khalil Mac (11).
This is the very first time that a defensive coordinator WinkMartindale’s player has double-digit sacks. It’s not a coincidence. Martindale’s pressure-packed, blitzing system does not feature one specific pass rusher and Thibodeaux is asked to do much more than go get the quarterback.
Thibodeaux has only been in the league for two seasons and it can be difficult to remember just how young he really is. He will turn 23 on December 15.