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Fighting in Washington scores, takeaways: Dustin Hopkins wildly covers fourth quarter with game-winning field goals

Fighting in Washington scores, takeaways: Dustin Hopkins wildly covers fourth quarter with game-winning field goals

The Washington Football Team scored a dramatic divisional victory on “Thursday Night Football” as they defeated the New York Giants 30-29. Taylor Heinicke overcame an interception in the fourth quarter to lead Washington on a game-winning drive — which set Dustin Hopkins up for a 43-yard field goal.

Ron Rivera and his staff knew they did not have to stress about losing starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for 6-8 weeks with a hip injury because they had a special backup waiting in the wings at Heinicke. He completed 34 of 46 passes for 336 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in his second time in the regular season.

Daniel Jones suffered his first career loss to Washington on Thursday, but it was certainly not his fault. The former No. 6 overall pick played fantastically, completing 22 of 32 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown, and also led the Giants to rushing with 95 yards and a score.

Who said “Thursday Night Football” was boring? We have now had two incredible matches in the middle of the week to start the normal season 2021. Let’s summarize everything that happened here in week 2.

Why Washington won

Heinicke’s resilience won this game. Overall, he had an up-and-down performance. At one point, it looked like he was going to be the hero of the game. Five minutes later, it looked like he was going to take most of the blame for a loss. Fast forward another five minutes and he had strengthened his status as a legend in Washington.

It’s hard to believe, but this was Heinicke’s second ever start for Washington — the first was the incredible playoff loss for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is clearly something special about this kid. He is not polished, but he is not afraid to try a big throw down the field and has completed a few elite throws that surprised everyone. He raised his stock to an all-time high Thursday night.

After throwing away what appeared to be the decisive bout, Heinicke got another chance. He was able to operate with a short memory and lead his team 50 yards down the field in 11 games. Not every starting quarterback can do that in this league. His leadership and his competitiveness won Thursday night.

Why the fighters lost

The Giants lost due to errors. Back-breaking mistakes that ultimately determined the outcome of this competition. I do not think it is fair to blame a loss on a game. But I think it’s fair to blame a loss on a few.

Darius Slayton’s fall in the fourth quarter will be hard to forget. Jones looked deep with six minutes left in the fourth quarter and saw his wideout streak alone – the recipient of a blown cover. Despite the pass being perfect, Slayton somehow could not roll it in.

It was a touchdown that would have given the Giants 10 points. Instead, they kicked a field goal to extend the lead to six.

A couple of drives later, after Washington scored a touchdown to regain the lead, James Bradberry intercepted Heinicke in the shadow of his own goal post. The Giants then decided offensively to try to run a clock and kick what would have been the game-winning field goal instead of going after the death blow. Saquon Barkley rushed to 3 yards in two plays and then missed Jones Sterling Shepard on third-and-7. It opened the door for Washington to win on a field goal.

Finally, at third-and-4 with five seconds left of the game, Hopkins set up a 48-yard field goal. It went wide to the right, but there was yellow laundry on the field. Somehow, Dexter Lawrence jumped offsides, giving Washington another 5 yards and Hopkins another chance to win the game. This time he did not miss.

Play the game

Washington picked up some momentum late in the fourth quarter after holding the Giants to a field goal. Down six points with less than five minutes left, Heinicke took over and led a two-play, 75-yard touchdown “drive” that took just 17 seconds. JD McKissic caught a 56-yard pass to get Washington off the field, and then Ricky Seals-Jones made the game — a 19-yard touchdown catch in the back corner of the end zone.

Turning point

There were so many candidates for turning points in this game as it remained interesting until the end. The moment we finally figured out who was going to win this game came via a penalty flag when Lawrence jumped offsides and gave Hopkins another chance at what the game-winning field goal was.

Another long Daniel Jones race ruined

One of Jones’ career highs — or lows — was when he ruined his own 80-yard touchdown on “Thursday Night Football” against the Philadelphia Eagles last season by stumbling on the 15-yard line.

Jones had another long touchdown that was ruined in this edition of “Thursday Night Football,” but this time it was ruined by a teammate’s penalty.

Even though it did not count, this was still a good race. Jones is certainly an underrated scrambler who gave Washington trouble in Week 2. He also led the Giants to rush in Week 1 with 27 yards and a six-carry touchdown.

Citerbart

“Dude is a baller man. You can not say enough about No. 4” – Terry McLaurin about Heinicke

What’s next

The Washington Football Team travels to Buffalo to host Josh Allen and the Bills next Sunday. The Bills are preparing for a game with the Miami Dolphins this weekend. As for the Giants, they return to New York next Sunday to host the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan and Co. lost their season opener to the Philadelphia Eagles and play reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers this weekend.

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