The New York Giants/Washington Redskins rivalry is the oldest of the current configuration of the NFC East. They met for the 173rd time in the regular season Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The game turned out to be a one-sided affair in favor of the home team.
Daniel Jones impressed in his first home start, Wayne Gallman scored two touchdowns in relief of the injured Saquon Barkley, and Jabrill Peppers returned a 32-yard interception for a touchdown as the Giants beat the Redskins 24-3.
Jones has breathed life into the Giants in his two starts. A week ago, he led the Giants from an 18-point deficit to their first win of ’19. On Sunday, he came out firing on all cylinders with two touchdown drives on the Giants’ first two possessions of the game.
Jones also used his legs to move the chains. He had two key third down runs of 12 yards before the intermission to help set up a field goal for a 17-3 lead and a 16-yard scamper in the third quarter. He finished 23-of-31 for 225 yards and a touchdown. He also had 33 yards on five carries.
Gallman, who will be the Giants’ starter while Barkley recovers from a high ankle sprain, contributed 118 yards from scrimmage. He scored the Giants’ first touchdown on a 6-yard reception. He followed that up with a 1-yard touchdown run on the Giants’ next possession.
The biggest story of the day, however, was the Giants defense.
The Giants had just one interception coming into Week 4. They racked up four against Washington. Ryan Connelly, who secured the Giants’ only pick a week ago, followed up with an interception that helped set up Gallman’s receiving touchdown. Janoris Jenkins, who had one of the worst games of his career a week ago, answered back with two interceptions while Peppers’ pick-6 sealed the Giants’ victory.
The Giants were helped out by Washington’s inability to get out of their own way.
Washington also shot themselves in the foot with 12 penalties for 58 yards. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, looking to provide a spark, benched Keenum in favor of first-round pick Dwayne Haskins in the middle of the second quarter. The former Ohio State Buckeye fared a little better than Keenum but not by much. He went 9-of-17 for 107 yards and three interceptions (Peppers’ pick-6 and the two by Jenkins). Haskins also had two runs for 23 yards.
The Giants entered Week 4 30th in the NFL in points allowed with 31.3. Washington only scored once on a Dustin Hopkins 21-yard field goal. The defense held their ground after a Haskins 14-yard run put Washington on the Giants 1-yard line to force the field goal attempt.
Washington finished with 176 yards of total offense, going 2-of-11 on third downs. Conversely, the Giants had 389 yards of total offense and went 8-of-13 on third down.
In spite the win, everything wasn’t positive for the Giants. They had four turnovers of their own. Jones was picked off twice by Quinton Dunbar on consecutive plays in the second quarter. Rookie Jon Hilliman fumbled the ball on the Redskins 2 after Jones’ 16-yard run on 3rd-and-13 late in the third quarter. Gallman also fumbled late in the fourth quarter.
The Giants finished with five penalties for 45 yards, including two offensive pass interference calls on Cody Latimer on consecutive possessions. The first OPI occurred at the Redskins 2 late in the first half. Instead of trying to get a touchdown before the intermission, the Giants went with an Aldrick Rosas 30-yard field goal.
The Giants (2-2) have won back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 10 and 11 last season. They are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for second place in the NFC East, within striking distance of the 3-0 Dallas Cowboys. Washington’s 0-4 start is their worst since dropping five in a row to start the 2001 season. Worse yet, three of their losses are to the Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys.
In Week 5, the Giants will face the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 PM EDT. The game will be televised on FOX.