The New York Giants have been cooling off after an unexpectedly hot start to the 2022 season. After winning seven of their first nine games, the Giants had lost their last two contests heading into Week 13 against the Washington Commanders. While they didn’t lose to the Commanders, they also didn’t win, as the score finished in a tie at 20-20.
This was a winnable game for both sides, and while the Giants will be happy to break their losing streak, there will obviously be some frustration regarding their inability to win this game. So with the tie in the books, let’s look back at the Giants performance and hand out some final grades for their Week 13 action.
Daniel Jones is about a league-average quarterback at this point, and average feels like the perfect word to describe his outing against the Commanders. Jones didn’t do anything to lose New York this game (25/31, 200 YDS, 1 TD) but he also didn’t do anything to win it for them, as their offense stalled out for pretty much the entire second half of this game.
Jones linked up with Darius Slayton (6 REC, 90 YDS) and Isaiah Hodgins (5 REC, 44 YDS, 1 TD) throughout the game, but after opening the second half with a touchdown, the Giants punted on six of their final eight drives. The two drives that didn’t end in a punt ended in a kneel-down to send the game to overtime and a missed field goal to end overtime. All in all, this wasn’t a great day for Jones and the passing attack.
While Jones didn’t have a big day in the air, he did manage to put together a solid outing on the ground as part of the Giants rushing attack. Jones led the Giants with 71 yards on the ground on 12 carries, and although he did lose a fumble early in the game, Jones played a big role in New York’s two-pronged ground game.
The other half of this attack was Saquon Barkley, who wasn’t as effective as Jones (18 CAR, 63 YDS, 1 TD) but still managed to make his presence felt in this game. Add that all up together (30 CAR, 134 YDS, 1 TD) and that’s not a bad day of work. The lost fumble hurts, but the Giants ground game kept the offense moving for much of the afternoon in this one.
The Giants secondary is pretty beat up, and while Taylor Heinicke isn’t the scariest quarterback to take the field, he still has the potential to put together a big game in the air. And that’s exactly what ended up happening here (27/41, 275 YDS, 2 TD) as Heinicke very nearly led the Commanders to victory. His top three targets in Terry McLaurin (8 REC, 105 YDS, 1 TD), Curtis Samuel (6 REC, 63 YDS), and Jahan Dotson (5 REC, 54 YDS, 1 TD) all had big days as well.
While Heinicke did have a big day, the Giants did their best to limit him, and ended up sacking him five times and forcing him to lose a fumble along the way. It wasn’t their best outing, but New York’s secondary did a good job of bending but not breaking in this one. They get a lower mark, though, because of their failure to bring down Dotson on his game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The Commanders top running back duo of Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson is dangerous, but the Giants did a fairly good job of keeping them in check in this game. Robinson led the way for Washington (21 CAR, 96 YDS) with Gibson filling a complementary role (9 CAR, 39 YDS) and while they got yardage, it rarely came as a result of a big play.
Overall, the Commanders ran for 165 yards on 36 carries, which shows that New York did a fairly decent job of slowing down their ground game in this one. While the passing attack got what they wanted, the ground game had to fight for every yard, and while it wasn’t the run defense’s best outing, they held their own in this one.
Special teams certainly played a big role in this game, with Graham Gano missing a game-winning 58-yard field goal right at the end of overtime. Jamie Gillan was busy on the day, launching seven punts, three of which landed within the 20-yard line. The kick returners did an OK job, but Gano’s missed field goal, while from a long distance, was a the main this game ended in a tie.
Brian Daboll did a good job to keep the Giants in this game, especially in the first half, but he appeared to run out of ideas in the second half of the game. Daboll couldn’t make the necessary adjustments to get the offense going, and they were lucky to not lose this game. A tie isn’t the worst outcome, but Daboll wasn’t at his best throughout this game.
Overall Giants grade: C+
The Giants can’t complain with the tie given how the game went, because they probably deserved to lose this game. They remain a wild card team for the time being, but they are going to have to play a lot better than they did in this one if they want to hang onto that playoff spot. And considering how they play the Commanders again in Week 15, they had better bring their A-game for that one since they didn’t here.