By Lenn Robbins
There were so many warts on the Giants’ 41-35 overtime victory against the Redskins Sunday in Landover, Md. it could keep a dermatologist working through Christmas.
Big Blue led 28-14 at halftime and 35-21 with less than 15 minutes left in regulation. The defense allowed Washington, behind fourth string (give or take a string) quarterback Case Keenan, to rally the lowly Redskins to a 35-35 tie with 29 seconds remaining.
The Giants allowed the Redskins to go 99 yards on that possession – 99!
The Giants allowed the team with the worst offense in football, averaging a meager 268.8 yards per game, to gain 361. And the Giants gave up 35 points to a team that was averaging 15.4.
Yet it might be the most beautiful win Giants fans remember if their team wins a fifth Super Bowl in the near future. The Giants (4-11) saw their top draft choices in 2018 (RB Saquon Barkley) and 2019 (QB Daniel Jones) turn in record-breaking performances.
“I think that is what they kind of envisioned when they drafted DJ and drafted me,” Barkley told reporters after the game. “I think we both have the potential and talent to play well together and open stuff up for each other. We showed that today with the help of everyone else and we were able to find a way to get the win.”
Barkley ran for a career-high 199 yards and one touchdown. He caught four passes 90 yards and another score. He left tacklers scratching their heads.
“My job is to make that one guy miss,” Barkley said. “Sometimes they’re going to make a play, but I believe that with the ability I have, more times than not I’m going to make that person guy miss.”
Jones threw five touchdown passes, no interceptions, and orchestrated his first game-winning drive in OT. Jones joined Detroit’s Matt Stafford as the only rookie QB’s since 1950 to throw for 300 or more yards and at least five touchdowns. Jones threw for 352 on 28-of-42 passing.
After the Giants won the coin toss in overtime, Jones knew he had the kind of chance every quarterback craves.
“You see it as a huge opportunity, and you’re excited for that,” he said. “That’s kind of what you look forward to, what you play for is an opportunity to do that — to go down and win the game.”
Perhaps it was a vision of the future. Barkley and Jones are proving to be special talents. The defense needs an overhaul and by beating the Redskins the Giants might have cost themselves a chance to draft Ohio State defensive end Chase Young.
For one afternoon, it was easy to overlook the warts and not wince at what be lost on draft day. The sights worth beholding wore No. 26 (Barkley) and No. 8 (Jones). Might be worth playing those numbers. Make sure to save the winning ticket.