Washington Football Team kicker Dustin Hopkins converted three field goals, none bigger than his walk-off 43-yarder that helped the Football Team defeat the New York Giants 30-29 on a rainy evening at FedExField.
Hopkins' game-winner, which ended a Giants five-game winning streak and sent the Giants to an 0-2 start for the fifth straight season, came about after the kicker got a second chance following a missed 48-yarder when Giants drew a flag that cost them five yards.
Washington finished the evening with 407 total yards against a Giants defense which, for the second week in a row, struggled with defending the middle of the field and limiting the chunk plays.
Two of the Football Team's three touchdown drives consisted of 13 and 12 plays respectively in the second quarter, the 13-play ending on an 11-yard pass from quarterback Taylor Heinicke to receiver Terry McLaurin, and the 12-play drive ending on a 2-yard touchdown run by J.D. McKissic.
The Giants' offense finished the evening with 391 yards total offense, the most accumulated under offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
Quarterback Daniel Jones had a somewhat encouraging showing as well, finishing 22 of 32 for 249 yards and one touchdown behind an offensive line that saw Nick Gates move to left guard and Billy Price to center before a potentially season-ending broken leg suffered by Gates in the first quarter forced another change on the offensive line.
That said, the Giants' offense wasn't blameless in the latest loss. New York ended up leaving 11 points on the field, which would have made a difference in the game's outcome.
Among those 11 points was a sack allowed by the Giants, which knocked them out of field goal range in the first quarter and forced them to punt; a Daniel Jones 58-yard touchdown run nullified by an iffy holding call against receiver C.J. Board, and a huge dropped ball by receiver Darius Slayton, who benefitted from a blown coverage with 6:25 left in the game.
Giants kicker Graham Gano, who converted five field goal attempts of 23, 47, 52, 55, and 35 yards, established a new team record of 35 straight successful field goal conversions, the last of those conversions giving the Giants a slim 29-27 lead with two minutes left in the game.
With the loss, the Giants, who were down 14-10 at the half, are now 5-39 in games played since 2017 when they are trailing at halftime, the most such losses by a team over that span.
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Giants running back Saquon Barkley, playing in his second game back from an ACL injury, taking part in approximately 45 snaps on offense. He finished his night with 57 rushing yards on 13 carries, his yardage total including a beautiful 41-yard burst on a 2nd-and-10 following the broken leg suffered by offensive lineman Nick Gates.
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Unfortunately, the drive on which Barkley had his 41-yard run stalled when left tackle Andrew Thomas was called for a false start, and then Washington edge Montez Sweat sacked Jones on the next play to knock the Giants out of field goal range.
Barkley also caught two of his three pass targets for 12 yards.
Giants Debut Revamped Offensive Line Configuration
As anticipated, the Giants went with a revamped offensive line configuration that saw Nick Gates start at left guard and Billy Price at center. The unit had a mixed bag in the first half, allowing 3.0 sacks and a handful of hits against Jones, but settled down in the second half to allow for Jones time.
When Gates had to leave the game with a broken leg, he was replaced by Ben Bredeson, who stepped in at left guard last week when Shane Lemieux had to leave due to a knee injury.
Daniel Jones finished as the team's rushing yardage leader, logging 95 yards on nine carries and one touchdown. As previously noted, he should have had a second touchdown, but that was wiped off the board by the holding call against C.J. Board.
Sterling Shepard finished as the team's receiving leader, catching nine of ten pass targets for 94 yards.
Rookie receiver Kadarius Toney was not targeted in the passing game.
Inside linebacker Blake Martinez finished with 12 total tackles to lead the team.
Rookie Azeez Ojulari managed to record the Giants' lone sack f the game, as the pass rush once again struggled, finishing with just two quarterback hits.
The Giants ended up winning the time of possession, 31:44 to 28:16, but they were bested by Washington in the red zone when they were held to one touchdown on three trips (Washington converted three of four red-zone trips into touchdowns) and on fourth down efficiency, allowing Washington to convert on both their attempts.
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