Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
The Giants were able to get out to a fast start something that has been foreign to this team. They were able to take advantage of a very poor Redskins defense who’s secondary was decimated coming into the game. The Giants have not been able to get off to a fast start all year as I have documented in these articles. The have been outscored by 61 points in the first quarter this yearcoming into this game.
The last time that the Giants scored 14 points in the first quarter was week 14 last year against these same Redskins. The Giants were very efficient in that quarter only having the ball for 3:30 minutes with quick strike plays. It only took them 2 and a half minutes to score with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Shepard. The big play was a 32-yard run by Barkley. It did not take the Redskins long to answer. Less than 7 and half minutes later Haskins threw a 10-yard touchdown to Sims. That drive was mainly a passing one for the Redskins. It only took the Giants 2 plays to score again. Barkley ran to the right for a 67-yardtouchdown.
In this pinball game, the Redskins drive the ball the rest of the first quarter again mostly through the air. On the first play of the second quarter Haskins throws a touchdown to Hentges. So, we have about 28 points scored in virtually 15 minutes. I don’t know what Vegas was thinking with 2 bad defenses making the over/under only 41. I predicted it Giants 27-24 in my Pulpit piece. The more I thought about it Sunday morning when I put my picks on Twitter, I made it Giants 31-28.
It was not enough points. The Giants score on the next drive and to who else with a 33-yard pass to Barkley. So, the Giants are up 21-14. We have 5 drives and 5 touchdowns with 35 points scored. Things slow down on the next 3 drives and we get 3 punts. The Giants score before the half with a touchdown pass to Latimer. The Giants have a 28-14 lead at the half which is a new experience for Giants Nation.
On the first play of the second half, Haskins gets sacked and has to leave the game with an ankle injury. Case Keenum replaces Haskins. Keenum is a professional quarterback who has been in the league since 2012. You would expect him to be better. Haskins is a rookie who only had 14 starts in college. On Keenum’s second Washington possession, he throws a touchdown to Sims and the score is Giants 28-21 at the 6:43 mark of the third quarter.
On second down on the very next drive, the Giants had Barkley lined up outside on the right along with tight end Smith and 3 wide receivers on the left. I have been saying all year Shurmur needs to get Barkley in space. The pass went to Barkley 2 yards behind then line of scrimmage and he made Webster miss and Payne whiffed on his tackle attempt. The play went for 51 yards making Jones look good with 53 yards of YAC.
Jones passed a touchdown to tight end Kaden Smith and with 3:43 left in the thirds quarter. So, at this point in the game with a 35-21-point lead, you have to think the game the game is over. They have to have a 90+% chance to win but think again my friend.
The Redskins go 3 and out. The Giants get the ball and go 3 and out. The Giants punt the ball 60 yards to the Redskins 2-yardline, but Thomas is called for offensive holding. The Giants have to punt again after they had a good 60-yard punt and pinned the Redskins on the 2-yard line! The ensuing punt is blocked and the Redskins get the ball on the Giants 17! Just another Giants mistake in a litany of mistakes that we have seen all year.
On the fist play Baker commits pass interference and they put the ball on the 1-yard line and Peterson runs it in making the score Giants 35-28. All the thoughts of the ways the Giants have blown games in the past come racing in your head. The most recent one was the loss to the Eagles after being up 17-3 at halftime blowing the game in overtime to an Eagles team that had lost all their receivers except one and still beat the Giants in overtime.
The Giants and the Redskins go 3 and out on the next 2 drives. On the next series, the Giants get 1 first down but they have to punt and Dixon punts the ball to the 1-yard line. With 6:28 left the Redskins have to drive the ENTIRE length of the field to tie the game. Giants fans are feeling pretty good as this is a super low percentage possibility. With Keenum in there the Redskins have a chance. Haskins could not have won the game based on his inexperience. The Redskins do drive the field. Keenum has 3 long passes of 32, 22 and 15 yards. The Giants “get well” pass defense is alive and well. With 41 seconds left on 4th and 3, Ballentine commits pass interference on the 3-yard line, giving the Redskins new life. Ballentine has been targeted al year as the weak link in the secondary all year! Now the impossible happens and the Giants gave up a 99-yard 14 play drive! Keenum throws a touchdown pass with 37 seconds left to tie the game.
Luckily, the Giants win the toss. They do the same to the Redskins as the Eagles did to them 2 weeks earlier. They win the toss take over 5 minutes and score the winning touchdown. Wentz threw to tight end Ertz to win. Jones threw to tight end Smith to win for his second touchdown of the day.
The Giants get the win but it is nothing to celebrate. They beat a worse team again that had a ton of injuries. They gave up a 99-yard dive to a journeyman quarterback who has played for 6 teams in eight years! This team still has a lot of problems. As my colleague, Glenn, pointed out in his article this morning that you can’t perfume this pig of a team.
The major issue with this victory is that the Giants now lose the Chase Young Sweepstakes. He is purported to be the best talent since I dare say Lawrence Taylor. I have heard many experts say he is better than both Bosa brothers. We missed out on Josh Allen last year. We will have to be Avis and get the number 2 talent. The Bengals will draft 1st followed by the Redskins and Lions. The Bengals are playing the Browns next week. It doesn’t matter, if they lose, they still get number 1. The Redskins are playing Dallas, so they will be 4-12. They get number 2. The Lions are playing Green Bay so they will be 3-12-1. The Giants will lose to the Eagles and the Dolphins are certainly losing to the Patriots, so the best the Giants can do is 4th draft spot. The Bengals take Banner and the Redskins will take Young. It will be a reminder for Jones’ career that because they won Sunday he will be sacking Jones 2 games a year for a decade or more.
Just a postscript to the game. There was 913 yards of offense (Giants 555, Redskins 361) showing how bad both defenses are. The Giants had a whopping 8 yards/play. The Giants gave up 1 sack. The offensive line played well including Nick Gates again. This was the first game that I can say that Jones has the potential to be a real starting quarterback in this league. He did not turn the ball lover after 21 turnovers. He did fumble but the Giants recovered it. There were 8 turnovers in the first game. He is very opportunistic of the very bad pass defenses. He has 14 of his 23 touchdowns against the worst pass defenses in this league: 6 vs the Redkins, 4 vs the Lions and 4 vs the Jets. He has 9 touchdowns vs the other 7 teams he played. Barkley had his best game ever with 189 rushing yards and 90 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. In this offensive bonanza, both teams were at 57% (8/14) third down efficiency. Both teams were 100% in the red zone, Redkins 5/5 and the Giants 3/3.
I hope this does not change management’s mind on any of the coaches and GM of this team. Giants will be 12-36 the last 3 years missing the playoffs 7 out of 8 years. It’s time for a change. I am more confident that Shurmur and Bettcher may be gone. It took a decade to get rid of Jerry “Reach” and I’m afraid Gettleman may have 9 lives at this time. The King of Dead Money will only screw up the future more.