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Bittersweet. That’s what any tie in the National Football League seems to be. It doesn’t feel like a win. It doesn’t feel like a loss. Players often have no idea how to feel about the result. Such was the case on Sunday for Washington Commander and New York Giant players and fans alike, after a 20-20 draw.

Both teams could have really used the win, as both are vying for the final Wild Card spot in this year’s playoff race.

“We came up here and expected to win. We didn’t. We tied,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “It doesn’t hurt us. It doesn’t help us because these are the guys we are competing with right now.”

While that’s one way of spinning it, the Giants aren’t the only team that Washington are trying to beat out for that Wild Card spot.

The Commanders can however, still boast that they’ve only lost one game in the last eight. The Giants technically ended a two-game losing streak.

Win – win, right?

“It feels like a loss, but it doesn’t count as one. That’s the only positive from this game,” said Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke.

No Shoes

It also means that Heinicke won’t be adding a new pair of Air Jordans to his collection.

Which is too bad because the young quarterback had a pretty good day. Other than the fumble that led to the Giants’ touchdown that put them ahead 20-13, he was solid.

He threw two touchdown passes and went 27 of 41 for 275 yards. He engineered a game-saving 90-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.

That drive included Heinicke rolling to his left and hitting Curtis Samuel for a critical fourth-down conversion on his own 27-yard line. It concluded when Jahan Dotson broke out a fantastic spin move, and scored from 28 yards out with just 1:45 to play. Clutch play from the enigmatic quarterback.

Heinicke also hit Terry McLaurin with a 19-yard pass earlier in the game. McLaurin had another strong outing grabbing eight balls for 105 yards.

In Check

It wasn’t the best game of the year by Washington’s defense, but they did manage to do a few things well.

Saquon Barkley mustered just 63 yards on the ground. He did add another 18 yards on 5 catches, but keeping him to under 100 all-purpose yards is better than many NFL defenses have managed in 2022.

Unfortunately Daniel Jones put up 71 yards rushing on just 12 carries, which definitely caused the defense some fits.

They did hold Jones to just 200 yards passing though (25 of 31).

Once again Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne led the way. Payne had two sacks, and Allen had another. It was Payne’s first multi-sack game of his career and he now has 8.5 on the season. That’s a career best with four games still left to play. Re-sign him.

Washington’s interior defensive line is a major reason for their successes this year. Washington hasn’t seen such play inside since Darryl Grant and Dave Butz were busting heads in the 80’s.

Disappointing Overtime

Overtime obviously settled nothing. There wasn’t even that much to get hyped up about, as neither team threatened that much. The closest anybody came to scoring was when the Giants linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux sacked Heinicke at the Commanders’ 1-yard line.

Graham Gano did have a shot to win it all at the very end, but the 58-yard field goal attempt was beyond the range of his leg and most everyone knew it. Including Gano. He was at least five yards short, though the kick was true.

The former Washington kicker had hit from 48 and 27 yards earlier in the contest.

Up Next

The Commanders get the week off. They finally get their bye in Week 14, and will return the following week to again face the Giants. This time at home on December 18th.

The Giants will host the Philadelphia Eagles this week.

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Categories Posted In | Game Day | News | Washington Commanders |