EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants put one on the board. Barely.
Both Joe Judge and the Giants got their first win of the season, thanks to a two-point conversion stop of the Washington Football Team with 36 seconds remaining in a crazy, sloppy game at MetLife Stadium. It allowed the Giants to escape with a 20-19 victory.
It was Judge’s first ever victory as a head coach. He was hired earlier this year after spending the previous eight seasons in New England.
Riverboat Ron [Rivera] returned for Washington just in time to give them a realistic chance of making it happen in regulation. Rivera, known for his sometimes risky gambles, went for the win instead of an extra point to tie, but quarterback Kyle Allen’s pass fluttered to the ground harmlessly after he scrambled and was hit as he threw.
At this point, the Giants (1-5) and Judge will take them any way they can get them. It doesn’t matter that Allen seemingly fumbled them the game with 3:29 remaining, but then drove Washington down the field for what seemed to be the tying score. Allen hit Cam Sims for a 22-yard score to make it a one-point game in the final minute. That’s when Rivera got frisky.
Maybe this should’ve been expected. With these teams and this year’s NFC East, nothing is conventional.
The win wasn’t pretty for the Giants. Far from it. They squandered an early 13-3 lead and made some head-scratching plays throughout, including a costly interception thrown in the end zone late in the third quarter by quarterback Daniel Jones.
Jones now has committed at least one turnover in 17 of 18 career starts.
But it was the Giants’ defense that made the key play late in this one. Kyler Fackrell sacked Allen and rookie Tae Crowder returned it 43 yards for a score to give the Giants the lead for good with 3:29 remaining. On this day, Mr. Irrelevant was relevant. Crowder was the final pick in this year’s draft.
Now, at least the Giants and Judge finally have one. Only the New York Jets remain winless entering Sunday afternoon.
It took six weeks, but this was exactly what Judge needed to give his program some validation. It would have been difficult to continue asking so much from his players if it didn’t eventually translate to victories.
This was their best opportunity to date. The Giants were favorites Sunday for the first time this season.