Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins started strong, building upon a strong start last week before leaving the game with an ankle injury as Washington fell 41-35 at home in overtime to the New York Giants.
The game was rightfully advertised as a matchup between two of the first three quarterbacks taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. New York famously passed on Washington’s Haskins, taken with the No. 15 pick, in favor of Daniel Jones from Duke with the No. 6 selection.
Though both struggled for parts of the season, Haskins and Jones impressed on Sunday. Jones led his team to victory as he passed for 352 yards and five touchdowns on 28-for-42 passing. Haskins was no slouch and put up 133 yards and two touchdowns on 12-for-15 passing
Through the first quarter, both Haskins and Jones had perfect passer ratings. Each led touchdown drives in the game’s first five possessions as the Giants and Redskins traded scores.
New York struck first as rookie quarterback Daniel Jones found wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a 24-yard score. On the next drive, Haskins made a play with his feet on third-and-3 to find wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. dashing across the left side of the end zone for a 10-yard score. The rookie signal-caller could’ve easily run for the first down for a short gain, but he opted to put faith in Sims to separate and was rewarded with a touchdown pass.
Running back Saquon Barkley — the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL draft — broke free for a 67-yard run and would finish with 22 carries for 189 yards and two total touchdowns on the day.
Haskins responded with a connection to tight end Hale Hentges on a corner route in the back of the end zone to begin the second quarter. But the Redskins couldn’t get a stop on defense as Barkley hauled in a 33-yard pass from Jones. The Giants extended their lead to 28-14 with 38 seconds to play in the half as Jones hit wide receiver Cody Latimer for a 10-yard score.
After the half, Haskins left the game with an ankle injury after getting sacked and was originally questionable to return but was later downgraded to doubtful. The injury didn’t appear to be too serious, but his status for a Week 17 showdown against the Dallas Cowboys is far from certain.
Veteran quarterback Case Keenum entered in relief for Washington and gave Sims Jr. his second score of the day, which made the score 28-21. However, the Redskins’ defense continued to struggle against Jones, who added his fourth touchdown of the day on the next drive.
In a 35-21 hole early in the fourth quarter, linebacker Nate Orchard made a huge play on special teams by blocking a punt. The Redskins took over on New York’s 17-yard line and scored two plays later, which made it a 35-28 game.
On their next possession, the Giants missed a 53-yard field goal. Then, the two teams traded punts before Washington took over from its own 1-yard line.
Defying the odds, Keenum engineered a 99-yard drive with miraculous throws to Sims Jr., Hentges and rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin along the way. He capped off the drive with a scramble for a score, and kicker Dustin Hopkins knotted the score at 35, where it would remain through regulation.
New York won the coin toss in overtime, and Jones finished a fantastic game with a surgical 11-play, 66-yard drive and a 3-yard touchdown pass. The Giants improved to 4-11.
The Redskins entered the day with a league-worst third-down percentage of 28% but went 8-for-14 (57.1%)
Washington has one of the youngest teams in the league, evidenced by the fact that 65 rookies have started for the ’Skins this season, which is higher than Miami’s 63 and the Giants’ 60.
Washington (3-12) will conclude its season next Sunday on the road against the archrival Dallas Cowboys.