Undisciplined NY Giants’ epic collapse hands Washington 30-29 win: Takeaways

Terry McLaurin #17 of the Washington Football Team (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Terry McLaurin #17 of the Washington Football Team (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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An epic collapse on defense, costly mistakes, and conservative offensive play calling late cost NY Giants in 30-29 loss to Washington

The NY Giants coaching staff played not to lose the game, and wound up not winning, in a disastrous turn of events in the waning moments Thursday night against the Washington Football Team.

Even after cornerback James Bradberry atoned for allowing an early touchdown and several key competitions to wide receiver Terry McLaurin, NY Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett turtled up on the ensuing possession, settling for a field goal, and Patrick Graham’s defense allowed Taylor Heinicke to match the Washington Football team down the field to kick a game-winning field goal, sending New York home with a 30-29 loss.

Along the way, the NY Giants had to call their final timeout on defense, because they didn’t have enough players on the field, and Graham’s strategy of giving receivers cushion on the outside to position Dustin Hopkins on the right-hash mark for a 48-yard game-winning field try.

Hopkins would miss, but he was bailed out by Dexter Lawrence jumping offsides.

Retry, perfect, game over.

Poor coaching. Worse execution.

Bad football teams make undisciplined plays and decisions in critical spots, and the NY Giants aren’t good enough to overcome either.

They committed both.

Similarly to the season-opener against the Denver Broncos, Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke feasted on short and intermediate routes all night, before hitting on 56-yard and a 20-yard touchdown completion on back to back throws in the second half.

Heinicke passed for 336 yards and two touchdowns to one interception, while finishing the evening with his white jersey in pristine condition and a blueprint published for the rest of the league on how to beat Patrick Graham’s NY Giants defense.

Bradberry’s late-game heroics nearly preserved what might have been the finest performance of Daniel Jones’ young career.

Until the defense and special teams coughed it up.

For at least a play, Daniel Jones lived up to his Danny Dimes nickname against the Washington Football Team on Thursday night.

With 4:41 remaining in the third quarter, and the Giants trailing 14-13, Jones uncorked a perfectly thrown pass that dropped into the hands of Darius Slayton for a 33-yard touchdown.

For much of the evening against the reigning NFC East champion Washington Football Team, it was Jones’ legs that powered the NY Giants’ offense, but the third-year quarterback’s touchdown pass to Slayton was like dropping the ball straight down a chimney after Slayton beat his man by two steps just before the pylon.

Slayton also let a ball drop to the FedExField end zone turf that could have put the game on ice for the NY Giants. Instead, his mistake left the door open just wide enough for Washington to claw back.

Against one of the premier front-sevens in the NFL, Jones hung tough in the pocket when he needed to, broke off several long runs, and did enough to power a critical early-season division win.

It just wasn’t to be.

The thought entering this season was the NY Giants’ backbone would be a consistent and opportunistic defense, but through two weeks this group has disappointed.

Here are key takeaways from the NY Giants’ loss to the Washington Football team

Jason Garrett finds redemption, rhythm thanks to Daniel Jones’ mobility

Last season, the NY Giants’ offense was its most effective when it funneled through Jones’ mobility, which is partially why it was so surprising Jones logged only six carries against Denver in the season-opener.

Thursday night, it seemed NY Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett returned to the formula that worked best, with Jones taking off and running on several zone-reads and designed runs against Washington.

Jones finished with nine carries for 95 yards and a touchdown against Washington.

While Jones was the NY Giants’ leading rusher in Week 1, his performance will most be remembered from that game by his costly lost fumble in the second half that halted a promising possession and allowed the Broncos to convert the turnover in a field goal.

Against Washington, especially after running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 35-yard dash down the sideline, Jones’ runs were more effective when first faking a handoff to Barkley. If Thursday is any indication, and the offense continues to play off Barkley’s explosiveness and the respect it commands by utilizing Jones’ speed and mobility, it could prove difficult to defend as the season goes along.