Thursday Night Football was a bull’s eye. After last week’s fantastic opener between Tampa Bay and Dallas, the Washington Football Team and the New York Giants delivered another spectacle this week. The two teams exchanged the lead no less than six times and kept it exciting until the very last second. In that last second, Dustin Hopkins was able to kick the winning field goal between the posts after a repechage, bringing his team its first win of the season. Read our NFL week 2 previews and predictions!
Jones takes the legs
Both teams came onto the field hungry after a loss in the first round. However, it was the New York G-men who showed the most hunger and took the upper hand both defensively and offensively in the first quarter. Daniel Jones shook off last week’s poor performance with good, quick passes and some well-chosen runs. In the end, it was one of those runs that gave the Giants a touchdown, as Jones was allowed to run six yards through the middle and straight into the end zone. Jones’ legs turned out to be an effective weapon on Thursday evening. The third-year quarterback ran for a total of 95 yards.
It wasn’t until the end of the first quarter that the Washington Football Team managed to respond to the Giants’ sharpness. Taylor Heinicke looked for his most reliable receiver— Terry McLaurin —and found him four times for a total of 43 yards. The fourth time, the Football Team immediately delivered a touchdown. “Scary Terry” would become Heinicke’s favorite target of the evening with 14 targets. He thanked for the confidence with 11 receptions for an astonishing 107 yards.
Before half time, both teams took the lead once. Graham Gano, the Giants’ quasi-automatic kicker, had a try from 23 yards, but this drive could have given New York seven points. Daniel Jones had fired up the jet engines again for a 58-yard rushing touchdown, but it was whistled back with a light holding call.
WFT answered with a strong final drive from Taylor Heinicke. The replacement for the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick seemed to feel more and more comfortable on the field and threw the ball to five different receivers. Running back JD McKissic was the man who eventually got the leather near the end zone and pushed the ball over the back line. Washington again took charge.
The field goals
The Football Team could not enjoy the lead for a very long time. With a field goal and a touchdown in their first two drives of the second half, the Giants again rushed their opponent. The touchdown was one of the highest quality, with a beautiful rainbow pass from “Danny Dimes” to Darius Slayton, who caught the ball 33 yards further into the end zone. That same Slayton would later get another phenomenal touchdown chance, but without a defender nearby, he let the ball jump off his hands.
What followed was a veritable feast of field goals. Four drives yielded four field goals, two for each team. Gano in particular scored highly. Twice he was allowed to moor from more than 50 yards and twice he didn’t seem to have the slightest effort to kick the ball between the posts. However, alternating the lead was not done in this game yet. Washington took the lead again after a nice touchdown pass from Heinicke to Ricky Seals-Jones.
The Football Team was going to lock the game now, you would think. However, that was not counting Taylor Heinicke. Rather than run out of clock, Heinicke attempted a pass to Terry McLaurin. However, James Bradberry threw himself into the ball’s path and caught the interception. The Giants took advantage of the mistake and took the lead again, after Graham Gano’s fifth successful field goal.
Heinicke was given exactly two minutes to correct his mistake. With the help of McKissic, McLaurin and Adam Humphries, he put together an admirable two-minute drill that took the Football Team to the Giants’ 30-yard line. Dustin Hopkins had the chance to shoot his team to victory… but missed! Still, it wasn’t over yet, for the Dexter Lawrence was too early off his line at the stairs. So another chance for Hopkins and this time he didn’t miss it! The Giants saw victory slip through their fingers, while Dexter Lawrence undoubtedly faced a sleepless night.