Daniel Jones and the New York Giants squared off with the Washington Commanders on Sunday Night Football in a rematch from their Week 13 game that ended in a tie. This game had major implications on the playoff picture in the NFC as the winner would not only hold a one-game lead in the Wild Card race but own the tiebreaker as well, essentially being two games ahead with three to play and controlling their own destiny.
In what was a physical, hard-fought game, it was the Giants who came away victorious. New York did just enough to pick up their first win since Week 10 against the Houston Texans, snapping a four-game winless streak.
It was the defense that was the star for the Giants, led by rookie pass rusher, Kayvon Thibodeaux. He had a breakout performance in prime time, recording 12 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack, one quarterback hit, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He got the scoring started with the pass rusher trifecta, strip-sacking Taylor Heinicke, recovering the fumble and scoring.
New York’s defense had one bad drive coming out of halftime, as the Commanders went 91 yards in their first drive of the second half for a touchdown. Other than that, Big Blue’s defense was excellent on the night.
While the offense struggled to put things together consistently, they made the plays that they needed to be made in order to get a win. It was another clean sheet for Daniel Jones, who was under duress at times facing a very strong Commanders’ interior defense. But the game plan to get the ball out of his hands quickly stymied that.
Jones is never going to have eye-popping passing numbers, as he completed 21-of-32 attempts for 160 yards and no scores. But he kept plays alive with his legs and most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over.
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft has come a long way in that regard as he was a turnover machine early in his career. He kept the ball out of harm’s way through the air against Washington, something he has done well all season.
As pointed out by NFL on CBS, Jones now leads the NFL in interception rate, which is the percentage of passes in which he has attempted that went for interceptions. Jones’ rate is at 1.0 this season, just ahead of Tom Brady with 1.1 percent and Jalen Hurts at 1.2 percent.
Both players threw multiple interceptions in Week 14, allowing Jones to take over the lead. It is something that he will need to continue excelling in for the Giants to make the postseason and have any chance at winning games should they make it that far.
This isn’t an explosive offense but it can maul and wear down opponents as the game goes on. The rushing attack led by Saquon Barkley and Jones can be a recipe for success, especially on days the defense plays at the level they did against Washington.