Playing on short rest, the WFT took on the New York Giants in front of a boisterous if not full FedEx Field crowd. The offense going in needed to find its rhythm after not finding much of a flow in week one. The defense wanted to reestablish themselves as dominant force in the league.
In a rare Thursday night national TV appearance, the defense was slightly better on third downs, and stymied most Giants runners. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner, after getting Taylor Heinicke a few reps during the week, was able to get the offense on track.
For the first time this season the offense appeared to find a rhythm as Taylor Heinicke, or as Chase Young has nicknamed Big Tay, engineered two first-half touchdown drives to give Washington a 14-10 lead going into the half. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner was able to get more of his playmakers into the mix.
Growing pains for rookie lineman Samuel Cosmi continued as he killed two drives with very costly penalties. In a tight game that would come down to the final possessions mistakes like that can’t be tolerated. Washington caught a huge break when Darius Slayton dropped a sure touchdown pass that would have iced the game for NYG in the middle of the fourth quarter. The Giants had costly false start penalties that could be linked to the raucous FedExField crowd that definitely effected the final stretch of the game. The lack of discipline with penalties would cost them the game later.
Big Tay would have an opportunity to win the game with a touchdown drive with five minutes left in two plays, a long pass torunning back J.D. McKissic, and a corner route to wide receiver Ricky Seals Jones.
But, Washington may have scored too quickly. The Giants got the ball back with five minutes left and Washington was able to get them off the field. But then, in what should have been a clock–draining run–the–ball–and–kneel–down drive. Taylor Heinicke threw a costly interception that allowed the Giants to kick a short field goal and take the lead.
Heinicke and WFT, with two minutes left, had time for redemption. Behind by two points, the WFT faced the possibility of a field goal to win it. The WFT were able to get to the ball with mid–field with about 28 seconds remaining. Good time management down the stretch from Taylor Heinicke and Coach Ron Rivera gave the team a fighting chance.
Kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 48–yard field goal, but thanks to an off–side penalty by a Giant lineman, Washington drew a first down and a shot at redemption.
Hopkins punched the kick through and Washington won its first game of the season, sending the FedEx faithful home happy. The winless record against New York quarterback Daniel Jones was exorcised by a 43-yard field goal and the WFT team came away with a 30-29 victory.
Playing 2 games in five days was daunting, but the team now has 10 days to prepare for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.