The Giants moved the ball sharply, at times impressive. Then they decided on a field goal.
On a solid night for Daniel Jones – 22 for 32 for 249 yards over and 95 yards rushing – the Giants couldn’t convert when it really mattered Thursday night in Washington. Five times their offense returned to the sidelines and handed the game over to kicker Graham Gano. He made the field goal attempt presented to him five times. But the points left on the board were expensive in the Giants’ 30-29 loss to Washington Football Team.
The cruelest twist? Washington won the game with its own 43-yard field goal, a punishable second attempt by Dustin Hopkins who ran out of time.
Both the Giants and the football team were eager to win after losing in Week 1. Last season it only took Washington a 7-9 record to win the sad NFC East. That gave even the 6-10 Giants a lot of hope for this season. A 0-2 start – for the fifth time in a row – wasn’t what they’d envisioned.
Jones’ good passing performance was surpassed by Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, who took the reins after football team player Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured in Week 1. It was only Heinicke’s second career start at the age of 28, but he was 34 for 46 for 336 yards and crucially led his team to three touchdowns to the two of the Giants.
The game bobbed back and forth. The team took an acrobatic spinning touchdown catch with a 27-26 lead in 4 minutes 33 seconds by Ricky Seals-Jones.
After Washington got the ball back, Heinicke made a rash pass on his 22, which was intercepted by James Bradberry with 2:22 remainder. The Giants suddenly had a chance to steal the game.
Once again, however, they were satisfied with a gano field goal and a 29:27 lead.
It took only one field goal to regain victory and Washington performed a classic, 50-yard, two-minute, 11-game exercise. Hopkins missed a 48-meter in the end, but an offside penalty against Dexter Lawrence gave him a second shot from five meters closer, on 43. With no time on the clock, he converted him and the team (1-1) was the winner.
The Giants also got bad news in the game after offensive lineman Nick Gates, a co-captain, went down with a gruesome leg injury in the first quarter. He was carted off the field and the team later said he broke his leg, which very likely ended his season.
Much fuss was made about receiver Kenny pointing out Golladay Jones towards the end of the game on the sideline. Golladay didn’t meet with the press, but Jones said, “I think he was frustrated with the situation. I don’t think it was me or anyone in particular. “
It was the kind of frustration many Giants fans felt, still waiting for their team’s first playoff win since a Super Bowl win in 2012.