The fourth time quiets the alarms. After blowing double-digit leads in each of their last three losses, the visiting Giants forced two turnovers late in the fourth quarter and five in the game Sunday
The fourth time quiets the alarms.
After blowing double-digit leads in each of their last three losses, the visiting Giants forced two turnovers late in the fourth quarter and five in the game Sunday to avoid squandering a 17-point lead and seal a 23-30 victory against the Washington Football Team.
It looked like the win was secure just before the two-minute warning when Jabrill Peppers intercepted a third-down pass with Washington on the edge of field-goal range. But the offense took only 18 seconds off the clock — quarterback Daniel Jones critically held onto the ball on a blind-side sack — before punting.
Logan Ryan baited Alex Smith into another interception to make sure a fourth straight collapse was avoided. The Giants (2-7) swept the season series against Washington (2-6) for the second straight year and have won five straight in the rivalry.
Jones improved to 4-0 in his two-year career against Washington by completing 23 of 34 passes for 213 yards. He is 1-16 with 16 consecutive losses and counting against the rest of the league.
Because the first of his two fumbles flew out of bounds and an interception was correctly overturned by replay review, Jones played turnover-free for just the second time in 22 career games played. Both games are at Washington.
Evan Engram juggled and dropped an easy catch that nearly became the interception, but responded with a touchdown catch for the highlight reel. Jones zipped a throw through tight coverage and the 6-foot-3 Engram made a full-extension fingertip catch to build a 20-3 lead.
The Giants. who scored the first 10 points, have held two halftime leads of at least 17 points since 2015. The other was 34-0 at Washington in 2018.
Washington committed three turnovers in the first half, including two lost fumbles by rookies. The third was an interception thrown by Smith when running back J.D. McKissic slipped and linebacker Blake Martinez alertly jumped into place.
Smith replaced starter Kyle Allen, who reportedly suffered a fractured ankle in the first quarter when he was leg whipped by a stumbling Peppers. Smith was making his second appearance since November 2018, when he suffered a broken leg that required 17 surgeries during a complicated recovery that almost included amputation because of infections.
Peppers was cut-blocked on a blitz and rolled into Allen’s knee, causing the leg and ankle to snap in an awkward direction. It was an eventful game for Peppers, who also recovered a fumble on special teams but bit on a fake and was out of position on the 45-yard completion that fueled Washington’s second-half-opening touchdown drive.
Allen is the second NFC East quarterback to suffer a broken ankle against the Giants. Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott’s season ended when he was dragged to the turf by Ryan on Oct. 11.
Smith’s first touchdown pass in nearly two years went to a receiver who was in college at the time of his last. Terry McLaurin caught a 21-yard pass at the 47-yard line, broke a shoulder tackle from Isaac Yiadom and outran four defenders for a 68-yard touchdown as Washington closed to 23-20 with 10:35 to go.
The Giants had their best rushing performance of the season, including before Saquon Barkley’s season-ending torn ACL. Wayne Gallman scored a rushing touchdown for the third straight week and he and Alfred Morris — who made two Pro Bowls and had three 1,000-yard rushing seasons from 2012-15 in Washington — combined for 134 yards on the ground.