On Sunday, Nov. 19, the New York Giants defeated the Washington Commanders 31-19 and it played out like a Jersey football fairytale.
Going into the weekend, expectations for the team and this game were low. Although they’ve had an extremely rough season thus far, the team collectively proved everyone wrong.
The offense was clicking on Sunday and the first change that was noticed and made fans smile was the play calling.
Coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator, Mike Kafka took the leap they hadn’t taken during Tommy DeVito’s last two appearances and let him pass. In prior games, we saw a limited DeVito whereas on Sunday, we saw gorgeous throws for touchdowns and first downs.
In just his second start, DeVito completed 18 of 26 passes for 246 yards with three passing touchdowns. As far as negatives go, the rookie quarterback was sacked nine times with five occurring in the first half.
The matchup against Washington forced everyone to pay attention to DeVito and the impact he continues to have. ESPN posted a fun fact informing us that DeVito has more career games with multiple touchdown passes than Steelers QB, Kenny Pickett who has 22 career starts. This game was proof that his impact comes in many forms both statistically and in terms of leadership and respect from teammates.
DeVito and Saquon Barkley work well together. Barkley’s reliability and versatility allowed him to act as a receiver in some great play-calls. This was one of the best decisions the Giants could have made because it resulted in two touchdowns for Barkley, who ended the day with 84 yards.
Another “Mr. Reliable”, Darius Slayton, scored in the second quarter off of a smooth 4o-yard dime from DeVito. The veteran receiver had four receptions out of five targets with 82 yards before suffering a game-ending injury.
The big guys up front finally looked good. Justin Pugh’s leadership seems to be having an impact on the line as they continue to improve. Despite the nine sacks, rookie center John Michael Schmitz did his job impeccably and included significant down field blocking.
On the other side of the ball, Big Blue’s defense showed up ready like never before. The G-Men racked up three interceptions and three turnovers.
Interceptions came from Nick McCloud and Darnay Holmes, as well as Isiah Simmons who ran his pick-six back for the last touchdown of the game. Fumble recoveries came from Xavier McKinney, Gervarrius Owens and Micah McFadden. Kayvon Thibodeaux had two tackles for loss and two sacks, which gave him 10.5 this season.
This was Washington’s Sam Howell’s worst game of his career, but the Giants showed their potential. They need consistency and the ability to read better opponents.
This game provided hope and showed the growing chemistry and trust that has been lacking all year. It seems the hometown hero, Cedar Grove native and resident, and Don Bosco star just resuscitated this team.
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