The Giants were 1:45 away from a huge win over the Washington Commanders when the unthinkable happened.
The Commanders scored a game-tying touchdown to force overtime and after 10 extra minutes of football, neither side was able to score and Sunday’s NFC East showdown ended in a 20-20 tie. It marked the first time New York has ended a game in a tie since Nov. 23 1997 against Washington.
Neither team was able to score on multiple possessions during the overtime quarter and Graham Gano came up short on a 58-yard field goal attempt with five seconds left on the clock.
“It was super random. Just looking around, it was just, you didn’t even realize it was over,” Kayvon Thibodeaux said. “It was just like, ‘alright it’s over. Everybody can leave now’ and you just walked out. Definitely didn’t go as planned, but a lot of things to grow from, a lot of things to learn from.”
While New York’s defense had held off the Washington attack for most of the second half, a late score with less than two minutes tied the game at 20. Taylor Heinicke found Jahan Dotson for the completion and the Commanders’ receiver was able to break free of a tackle and get through the New York secondary for the 28-yard touchdown reception.
Jones and Saquon Barkley led the ground attack with the duo combining for 134 rushing yards. The Giants QB threw for 200 yards against the Commanders and Barkley reached 1,000 yards rushing on the season with a five-yard run in the first quarter on the Giants’ opening drive.
“You always like to win a game, but there’s some things we can do better and that’s what we’ll try to do,” head coach Brian Daboll said about the final result.
It was the defensive efforts of outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari that helped give New York its first lead of the game early in the second half. On 3rd & 8 on the Commanders’ 25, Ojulari stripped quarterback Taylor Heinicke of the ball and eventually came up with the recovery to put the Giants at the Washington 20-yard line.
The Giants made quick work of the opportunity taking just five plays for Jones to eventually find Isaiah Hodgins in the corner of the end zone to put New York ahead 20-13 with 11:34 left in the third.
The Commanders got on the board first with 8:39 left in the first quarter off a 21-yard field goal by Joey Slye. Washington extended its lead to 10 when Heinicke hit Terry McLaurin for a pass and he broke free of a tackle by Fabian Moreau to get to the end zone.
A flip appeared to switch for the Giants after the Washington Touchdown as they put up 10 straight points to erase the early hole. The Giants drove 40 yards down the field to cut the Commanders’ lead to 10-3 with a 48-yard field goal less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Barkley tied the game at 10 with 8:49 left in the first half when the offensive line gave him a hole to run through and he blew by the defense for a 13-yard touchdown.
The Commanders and Giants exchanged field goals in the closing minutes to send the game to halftime tied at 13.