The New York Giants moved a step closer to their first playoff berth since 2016 with a critical 20-12 victory over the Washington Commanders on Sunday night.
The Giants are 8-5-1. The Commanders are 7-6-1. With the victory, the Giants now have an 87 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight.
The Giants got a goal line stand in the final minute to secure the victory. After a Brian Robinson 1-yard touchdown run was negated by an illegal formation penalty on Washington, two incompletions from the Giants’ 6-yard line sealed the victory.
Two other critical defensive plays keyed the Giants’ victory. In the first half, Kayvon Thibodeaux had a strip sack of Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, and recovered the fumble himself for a touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, with Washington trailing 17-12 and threatening, Dexter Lawrence and Azeez Ojulari sacked Heinicke at the Giants’ 9-yard line. Heinicke was initially ruled down by contact, but a challenge by Brian Daboll resulted in an overturn and a fumble recovery by Leonard Williams at the Giants’ 14-yard line with 6:06 to play.
Following the replay overturn, Graham Gano made a 50-yard field goal to give the Giants a 20-12 lead with 1:55 to play.
“It was four or five plays that it comes down to,” coach Brian Daboll said. “Our guys made those plays.”
Thibodeaux had a dominant night for the Giants. He had a strip-sack/fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first half, the Giants’ first touchdown. Thibodeaux finished with 12 tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit, a forced, fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown.
“I think he’s consistently improved throughout the year. I’ve said this before: I’m glad we drafted him, I’m glad he’s part of the team.”
Brian Daboll on Kayvon Thibodeaux’s play tonight: pic.twitter.com/3xqzZVrYN3
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) December 19, 2022
- Daniel Jones went 21 of 32 for 165 yards. He also ran 10 times for 35 yards.
- Saquon Barkley ran 18 times for 87 yards. He also had five receptions for 33 yards.
- Richie James had four receptions for 42 yards. He also had a 23-yard punt return.
OL Shane Lemieux (toe)
CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee)
LB Tae Crowder
CB Rodarius Williams
WR David Sills
G Jack Anderson
QB Davis Webb
The Giants travel to Minneapolis to face the 11-3 Minnesota Viking on Christmas, Saturday, Dec. 24. Game time is 1 p.m. The Vikings are coming off the biggest comeback victory in NFL history, a 39-36 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday that featured a comeback from a 33-0 halftime deficit.