Four turnovers is not a recipe for success and coach Pat Shurmur noted that they likely would have been “killers” against a “team with more firepower.” But Wayne Gallman stepped in for injured Saquon Barkley and scored two TDs and Daniel Jones once again showed the value of mobility at quarterback. Jones’ two interceptions were growing pains. The Giants had some long, effective drives – they had a 13-play, 94-yard trek to go ahead 14-0 – and were in control most of the game even when they were coughing the ball over to Washington.
A pick-six by Jabrill Peppers and two interceptions by Janoris Jenkins were the impact plays the defense has been waiting for. LB Ryan Connelly’s early interception led to the opening touchdown. Washington had a chance to cut a 14-0 deficit in half and had the ball at the 1 on first-and-goal, but the Giants held them to a field goal and the only points in the game. Washington had just 176 total offensive yards, 55 rushing yards, and was 2-for-11 on third downs.
Special teams: C
T.J. Jones had some jittery moments as the punt returner, muffing his first two attempts before recovering both. The Giants had Jabrill Peppers handle one just to let Jones collect himself before he returned to the role. The rest of the special teams were, as they have been all season, really good. Aldrick Rosas kicked a 30-yard field goal and punter Ryan Dixon put all three of his punts inside the 20. Antonio Hamilton is having a Pro Bowl-caliber year as gunner on punt coverage and scores extra points for wearing a throwback Harry Carson jersey out of the locker room.
Funny how Pat Shurmur can find all the right buttons to push now that he has his quarterback on the field. His decision to go for a fourth-down conversion on the opening drive set the tone of aggression for the team and he managed the clock wonderfully at the end of the first half to set up a field goal. Nothing drastic, but the Giants did make what Shurmur called “tweaks” to the defense that helped. The Giants were penalized just five times compared to the 12 flags against Washington.