This week, there was less football action in the Meadowlands than usual, as the Jets had their bye week, being given time to rest up and prepare for the second half of their schedule. Meanwhile, the Giants faced off against a divisional foe in the Washington Commanders.
Both teams have been struggling early into the season, with the Giants last win coming 5 weeks ago, while the Commanders had won just one of their last four games heading into the matchup.
Giants Defeat Commanders 14-7 in ‘Legacy Game’
This week’s game was special for the Giants, as it marked their first ‘legacy game’ of the 2023 season, a concept that originated last season, which features the use of game jerseys reminiscent of those used in the 80’s and 90’s, in addition to several retro changes made to the field.
The first quarter of the game set the pace for how the rest of the game would progress, with every drive in the quarter ending in a punt, except for one, which led to a Giants missed field goal.
The Giants, however, finally took advantage of their exceptional defensive play, with a 98-yard drive ending in a touchdown, the Giants first offensive touchdown since Sep. 21. The next two drives, unsurprisingly, ended in punts, but the Giants defense decided to take matters into their own hands with an interception from Deonte Banks, putting the Giants in great field position.
The Giants only needed two plays to capitalize off the Commanders’ mistake, with a 16-yard catch from Darren Waller setting up a 32-yard receiving touchdown from Saquon Barkley to put the Giants ahead 14-0.
After five more punts, the half came to an end and the Giants were heading into the second portion of the game with their largest lead of the season.
The Giants defense dominated for yet another drive to open the second half, forcing a punt, but Sterling Shepard unfortunately fumbled the punt and gave the Commanders the ball at the Giants 21-yard line. The Commanders did not waste this opportunity, scoring a rushing touchdown to cut the Giants’ lead in half.
The remainder of the third quarter was filled with more punts, but the Commanders were in the midst of a lengthy drive to start the fourth quarter, threatening to tie the game. Despite being only 16 yards away from a tie game, the Giants defense held their ground and forced a field goal attempt.
Yet again, the Giants defense stopped the Commanders, with a Leonard Williams blocked field goal ruining Washington’s hopes of scoring. The Giants followed the blocked kick with a great drive led by backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The drive led the Giants to Washington’s 10-yard line, meaning that they were just 10 yards away from securing their first win in over a month. It couldn’t be that easy for the Giants, however, as a Saquon Barkley fumble squandered that opportunity and now gave the Commanders a chance to tie or even win the game.
The Commanders drove down the field, all the way to the 12-yard line, where they had just over a minute to tie the game. After two incomplete passes and a 5-yard reception, the Commanders had one last shot to gain a first down or the Giants would walk away victorious. On 4th & 5, Commanders quarterback Sam Howell targeted receiver Jahan Dotson, but as was the case all game, the Giants defense came up clutch and got the stop, sealing the game.
Jets Win Despite Being on Bye Week
Despite this being their bye week, Week 7 could not have gone better for the Jets, with both the Bills and the Dolphins losing. Even though they are still in third place, the Jets are creeping up the standings and were able to improve in the ranks despite not playing a game.
Battle for the Meadowlands Upcoming as Jets Take on Giants
Next week, the Jets will take “the shortest road trip in the NFL” as they travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the Giants. Both teams are currently coming off a win and are in need of starting a hot streak. The Jets are the current favorites heading into the game, but we will see if the Giants can build off the momentum of this game to force an upset.