The New York Giants won a crucial division game against the Washington Commanders 20-12 on Sunday.
The two teams had a 20-20 draw on December 4, which gave great importance to this confrontation in the East division of the National. New York is 8-5-1 while with the loss Washington trails at 7-6-1 for last place in the division.
The Giants defense set the tone for the New York formation. Deep in Commanders territory, Kayvon Thibodeaux lost the ball to Taylor Heinicke and the Giants player recovered it to score the touchdown himself afterwards.
After declaring, “Airtime loves me,” Thibodeaux was dominant and attacked the quarterback by entering the backfield early and often.
The Giants offensive unit subsequently pulled off a methodical streak. Daniel Jones orchestrated a 97-yard drive that ended with a touchdown on a 3-yard run from Saquon Barkley.
The Commanders borrowed this recipe early in the third quarter. They needed just 4 minutes 11 seconds to cross the field and Heinicke put the finishing touches to a 96-yard streak with a 19-yard pass to Jahan Dotson.
Trailing 17-12 in the fourth quarter, the Commanders edged into Giants territory after a superb catch from Dotson for 61 yards. Moments later, however, Heinicke was fumbled and the ball returned to the Giants.
Graham Gano added three points to the board with his second field goal of the game, this time from 50 yards, and the Commanders had less than two minutes to come back upfield and close the eight-point deficit.
After a good punt return, Heinicke passed 27 yards to Curtis Samuel to put the Commanders in position to attack the end zone. After narrowly avoiding an interception, the Washington quarterback ran to the one-yard line where he was stopped with 1 minute 3 seconds left on the clock.
Brian Robinson crossed the end zone on the next play, but the touchdown was ruled out due to a penalty to receiver Terry McLaurin. After an incomplete pass on third down, the Commanders had one last chance to score the touchdown, but Heinicke’s pass didn’t find Samuel who was struggling with a defensive back to cement the victory for the Giants.
Heinicke finished the game with 249 yards and a touchdown pass. For the Giants, Daniel Jones needed just 160 yards while Barkley had 87 yards rushing and 33 through the air.
Both teams hold the last tickets to the playoffs in the Nationals, but the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions are close behind with a 7-7 record each.