New York Giants - Washington Football Team Gameday Blog
It's now or never.
After five winless weeks, the Giants are home favorites over the division rival Washington Football Team in a battle to escape last place in the NFC East.
The Giants are coming into the game off a heartbreaking road loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5, but they will have to have a short memory.
Just because the Giants are favorites over Washington does not mean that the game will be handed to them by any means.
Washington's defensive front boasts five first-round draft picks and has all the talent to give a lot of problems to the Giants' struggling offensive line and quarterback Daniel Jones.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Giants' defense will be going up against a Washington offense led by quarterback Kyle Allen, who will be making his second start for Washington.
Can the Giants finally get first-year head coach Joe Judge his first win and bust out of their dreadful start to the season?
"I think all of our guys that are here on our roster right now are preparing hard to play, and they give their best every day," head coach Joe Judge said.
"They've done a good job working through some scenarios. We're anxious to get them on the field this Sunday and play."
Join in on the discussion below with your fellow Giants fans as led by Giants Country writer Jackson Thompson (@Jacksonbht), who will update you throughout the game.
And don't forget to keep it right here for our complete postgame coverage.
Giants: What to Watch For
- Aim for fourth consecutive win against Washington.
- Look to improve to 215-174-10 all-time in October.
- Daniel Jones aims for 3rd consecutive game with 20 completions while completing at least 65% of his passes vs. Washington.
- Evan Engram needs 87 yards receiving (1,913) to reach 2,000 for his career.
- Graham Gano needs one 50+ yd FG (4) to surpass Aldrick Rosas (4 - 2018) and Josh Brown (4 - 2014) for most 50+yd FG’s in a season in franchise history.
One player that has become an interesting story for the Giants over the past few days is 25-year-old outside linebacker Trent Harris. Harris, an undrafted free agent out of Miami in 2018, was signed to the Giants' practice squad on Tuesday, elevated to the active roster on Saturday and will be active against Washington.
The Giants' edge rusher group has thinned out dramatically over the past week, as starters Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines have landed on IR.
How heavily Harris is utilized is a question considering how little time he's had to digest the playbook, but with a dramatically thinned out edge rusher group, it's not impossible that Harris could get some snaps on the edge against Washington today.
Other potential fill-ins on the edge are rookies Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin, who have made their mark on special teams so far this year but haven't seen any defensive playing time.
Neither Coughlin nor Brown was considered top-tier pass-rushing prospects coming out of their respective schools this year. However, they are thought to have the work ethic and football IQ to be effective athletes on the field still and given some NFL snaps, they could develop into reliable depth on the edge for the Giants' defense.
Brown possesses elite length and burst. While he lacks the ideal size and play strength at the edge rusher position, his toughness is unquestionable, according to Penn State defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry.
Meanwhile, Coughlin brings favorable quickness and the versatility to carry out various tasks from the edge position, according to Minnesota linebackers coach Joe Rossi, which is ideal for the system that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham runs.
Then there's Markus Golden and Kyler Fackrell, two veteran edge rushers playing on one-year deals in 2020 with plenty of motivation to perform with the opportunities they've been given. Playing Fackrell and Golden doesn't give the Giants the benefit of developing long-term centerpieces on defense, as neither might be in the team's plans for after this year.
Still, they will give the Giants two proven commodities on the edge as safe productive players to grant playing time, and are the best options to pull out a win against Washington today.
Meanwhile on offense, rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas is not expected to start this Sunday and fellow rookie Matt Peart, who was selected in the third round, is expected to take his spot, according to ESPN.
Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams was one of Giants Country's players to watch this week lining up against rookie Saahdiq Charles at left guard, and right off the bat, Williams seems to have injured Charles who has to gingerly walk off the field.
The Giants won the coin toss and chose to defer and so far Washington has managed to capitalize. Washington has kept the ball on the ground and is moving down the field on a slow methodical drive to start the game, one that includes a fourth-down conversion.
Giants defensive captain inside linebacker Blake Martinez is on the ground with trainers around him. Martinez has arguably the Giants' most important player on defense this season and one the team can't afford to lose. Martinez is able to jog off the field under this own power as the defense makes a stop and forces a Dustin Hopkins 47-yard field goal try, but it misses.
The Giants offense will take over in a scoreless game in good starting field position.
Peart is in fact in at left tackle and will battle Washington defensive ends Chase Young, Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat.
A strong opening drive by the Giants' offense is stalled inside the red zone as Kerrigan sacks Jones on third down and the Giants have to settle for a 33-yard field goal by Graham Gano.
Giants lead 3-0.
Giants cornerback James Bradberry intercepts Washington quarterback Kyle Allen to give the Giants the ball right back and a chance to extend the lead. For Bradberry, it is his second interception of the season.
The other good news is that Martinez was back on the field for the Giants defense during that very short series.
Jones delivers a 23-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton, breaking Jones' drought of 145 passes without a touchdown, the longest in Giants' history.
Giants lead 10-0
Jones' last touchdown pass was to Slayton in Week 1 against the Steelers and now five weeks later the two renew their connection as all three passing touchdowns have gone to Slayton this year.
Williams brings down Allen for his third sack of the season and a 14-yard loss that pushes Washington out of field goal range.
Williams only had 0.5 sacks all of last season and now five games into the season he is en-route to possibly the highest sack total of his career in 2020.
Hopkins makes his second field goal try from 35 yards out to get Washington on the board.
Giants lead 10-3.
On an RPO, Jones keeps it and outruns the Washington defense for 49 yards, the longest run by any Giant this year.
Thomas has come into the game at left tackle and the controversy surrounding a potential benching appears to be quieted.
The Giants drive is stalled inside the 10 and Gano connects from 20 yards to extend the Giants' lead back to 10.
Giants lead 13-3.
Washington is putting together a critical drive to end the half, as a critical running into the punter penalty which allowed Washington to extend the play and capitalize with a five-yard touchdown pass from Allen to tight end Logan Thomas just before the half.
Giants lead 13-10.
It was the best half of football the Giants have played all season, and even then they've been left with a much smaller lead than they should probably have.
Despite the many things they've done right, they were ultimately doomed by the same sequence that's killed them all season: an untimely penalty and surrendering a touchdown at the end of the half.
Still, there's reason to believe that the Giants can play well enough to hold on and pull out a win in the second half, especially with how they've played on offense.
The Giants will get the ball to start the second half.
Giants wide receiver C.J. Board took a hard hit by Washington defensive back Deshazor Everett on a pass attempt and is laying on the field surrounded by trainers.
Board has been involved in the offense as a replacement for veteran Sterling Shepard over the last few weeks and his loss would leave the Giants with only three active wide receivers.
Now safety Jabrill Peppers has walked off the field with an apparent leg injury. Peppers in his second game back from a low ankle sprain suffered in Week 3 and could have a brand new injury to worry about.
Peart is now back in for Thomas as the Giants' bizarre left tackle carousel continues.
The Giants wide receiver corps might have just gotten thinner with Slayton now limping off the field after making an 18-yard catch over the middle of the field. Slayton has been the Giants' best wide receiver this year and was questionable coming into the game with a foot injury. If he's out, the Giants' decimation to injuries on offense this season just gets worse.
Slayton comes back into the game in a critical moment as the Giants have the ball inside the red zone.
With a chance to cash in a long 13-play drive, Jones lobs a rubber duck to the endzone and it is intercepted by Washington cornerback Kendall Fuller, costing the Giants a chance at points and giving Washington the ball at the 20-yard line.
Rookie linebacker Tae Crowder, this year's Mr. Irrelevant as the 255th overall pick, has been a bright spot for the Giants' defense in this game, making plays all over the field for the Giants and is working his way into a regular spot on defense.
The Giants defense bends but doesn't break on the ensuing drive as Washington gets it into the red zone, but is stalled on a good pass break up by Giants cornerback Logan Ryan on wide receiver Dontrelle Inman in the end zone. Washington settles for a 28-yard Hopkins field goal to tie the game.
Game is tied at 13.
In a game where Crowder was making his presence known, as mentioned before, he makes possibly the biggest play of his life, scooping up an Allen fumble and taking it to the end zone for his first career touchdown and giving the Giants a late lead.
Giants lead 20-13.
Allen leads a 10-play 80-yard touchdown drive to give Washington a potential game-tying touchdown, however, Rivera opts to go for two to win the game and the Giants' defense holds up and forces an incompletion on the two-point attempt and the Giants retain a one-point lead.
Giants lead 20-19 with with 36 seconds left.
Rivera's decision to go for two costs Washington a chance to go to overtime and will likely deliver Judge and the Giants their first win.
The onside kick attempt is recovered by the Giants and Jones will be able to kneel this one out and secure the win.
Giants win 20-19