Daniel Jones of the Giants reacts after his fumble during the first...

Daniel Jones of the Giants reacts after his fumble during the first quarter was recovered by the Commanders at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

‘New York has had the opportunity to possess,” Brad Allen said late Sunday afternoon, his voice booming over the MetLife Stadium public address system.

Technically, the referee merely was noting that, with the Giants having completed the first drive of overtime without scoring, the next score would win the game.

But Allen might as well have been explaining exactly what went wrong for the home team in a dispiriting 20-20 tie with the Commanders.

New York had the opportunity to possess over and over again, needing if not an insurance score, then at least a few timely first downs to bleed the clock and win a pivotal game against a Washington team begging to be beaten.

But no.

The recently struggling running game perked up in the first half, then petered out. Daniel Jones completed his first 17 passes — not including a clock-stopping spike — then abruptly lost some of his early mojo.

A unit that was more than the sum of its parts early in the season again showed its limitations, again left fans wondering about the futures of Jones and Saquon Barkley and again came up short as the Giants slid to 1-3-1 in their past five games.

“It [stinks],” said Barkley, who added that the tie felt more like a loss.

What did he think of the offense in the second half and overtime? “Not good enough,” he said. “We just didn’t execute.”

Said Jones: “We had plenty of opportunities. It’s disappointing.”

The teams’ first tie against each other since a 7-7 game in 1997 — ask your parents about “Gus Frerotte’s head butt,” young readers — left players uncertain of what to make of the standings implications but certain that they had let one get away.

It was better than a loss, obviously. That would have pushed the Giants (now 7-4-1) into last place in the NFC East, behind Washington (7-5-1).

Instead, it’s on to the Eagles on Sunday, then a rematch with the Commanders, after which we will have a much clearer sense of the playoff picture — assuming there are no more ties.

The Giants have been operating on a dual track all season, with first-year coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen trying to rebuild while winning, and with their two biggest names on offense approaching free agency. Every time it seems as if we have a handle on this stuff .  .  . stuff happens.

Barkley rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown in the first half; he rushed seven times for 3 yards in the second half and overtime.

Jones was 17-for-18 until late in the fourth quarter, then .  .  . pfft.

Here is how the Giants’ drives ended after they took that 20-13 lead: punt, punt, punt, punt, kneel down to end regulation time, punt, punt, missed field goal.

On seven of those eight possessions, the Giants secured one first down or fewer.

The coaches contributed to the strangeness.

There was some bizarre clock management at the end of the first half that cost the Giants a chance at a touchdown. They settled for three points.

There was an odd sequence after Washington tied the score at 20 when Jones threw two consecutive incomplete bombs to Darius Slayton, the first of which he dropped.

In overtime, the Giants had a third-and-3 at the Washington 45 when Jones, Barkley and receiver Richie James somehow got in each other’s way in the backfield on what everyone called a “miscommunication.” (Jones insisted on taking the blame, as he usually does.)

On fourth and-3, Daboll opted to punt rather than go for a first down, probably a wise decision given the broken state of his offense at that stage.

The strategy nearly worked, but the offense could get no closer than the Washington 40 in the final seconds, setting up Graham Gano’s 58-yard miss.

When it was over, Barkley said he left with “a sour taste.”

Daboll stated the obvious, that it was better than a loss and not as good as a win.

That’s true. And given the math of the NFC playoff picture, the Giants kept themselves in play as a legitimate contender.

But if the offense looks the same next Sunday against Philadelphia, a tie game with the Commanders will not be their biggest problem. A tie with the Commanders for last place in the NFC East will be.

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