Giants try to make sense of their emotions after overtime tie against Commanders

Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4), center, throws under pressure from New York Giants’ defenders during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

There weren’t a lot of smiles in the Giants’ locker room or at the podium after Sunday’s tie with the Washington Commanders.

 New York had seen a 20-13 lead slip away late in the fourth quarter and after 10 extra minutes of football at MetLife Stadium, no one had been able to score creating a final score that mimicked a result in MLS rather than the NFL. It also created a rather perplexing feeling for the players that walked off the field to a finish that some had never experienced before.

“We knew we had chances to win the game, if we just executed probably had a really good chance to win the game,” said Darius Slayton, who finished the game with six catches on eight targets for 90 yards. “Just disappointing when you don’t do what you need to do to close out games. Even though it technically isn’t a loss, you want to win. You play to win. Nobody plays to tie.”

The last time the Giants had finished a game in a tie had coincidentally also been against Washington back in 1997 when their game against one another ended in a 7-7 score. But for many inside the locker room, it had been the first time in their careers that they had been walked off the field in a tie. 

Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux mentioned the odd feeling when the game “was over and everybody can leave now and you just walked out.” Another Giant player joked that he was asking about the rules of a tie and how overtime worked. 

However, many that spoke after the game, seemed to share how defensive end Jihad Ward felt. 

“As a team, it really don’t hurt as much, but Jihad mentality I treat it that we lost,” Ward said. “But it’s cool though. We’ll be back on it. I’m not upset or anything, but that’s how I’m treating it.” 

After Sunday’s game, the Giants and Commanders tie became just the 28th to occur in NFL history since the league implemented overtime in 1974. The Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans also played to a 20-20 tie in their season opener this season on Sept. 11. 

This year marks the fifth time that two ties have occurred in the same season. It also occurred in 1986, 1997, 2016 and 2018. 

Sunday was the third time the Giants had tied in franchise history, with all three ending in scores of 20-20. The first one came back on Oct. 23, 1985, on Monday Night Football against the St. Louis Cardinals. 

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Back in 2022, head coach Brian Daboll seemed ready to look forward to the Giants’ Week 14 meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

“Just to get ready to work. The guys competed their tails off and they ended up tying rather than a win,” Daboll said somewhat solemnly. 

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