by Kyle Stackpole, Logan Campbell & Zach Selby
The Washington Football Team trails the New York Giants, 13-10, at the break. Here are three takeaways from the first two quarters:
Allowing big plays was a problem for Washington's defense last week against the Los Angeles Rams, and that trend has continued against the Giants.
After James Bradberry intercepted Kyle Allen's pass three plays into Washington's second drive, Daniel Jones and the Giants' offense needed just three plays to march 27 yards downfield and deliver a strike to the end zone on a 23-yard throw to Darius Slayton.
Then, on the first play of New York's next drive, Jones kept a handoff and slipped past Washington for a 49-yard sprint. Washington managed to keep the Giants out of the end zone, but still allowed a field goal to make the score 13-3.
There were times when Washington played well, but if it hopes to climb out of this second-half deficit, it will need its defense to play with more consistency.
Allen finished the first half 16-for-21 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown, and he spread the ball around in the process. Five players have made at least two catches, including tight end Logan Thomas, whose last-second touchdown brought Washington within 13-10.
Allen has also found success targeting wide receiver Terry McLaurin. On the team's third offensive drive, McLaurin made three catches for 39 yards, setting Dustin Hopkins up for a manageable field goal that put Washington on the scoreboard. For the half, he caught four passes for 46 yards on a game-high seven targets.
Washington lined up for a punt and pinned the Giants at their own one-yard line, but New York's pass rush ran into Tress Way, which gave Washington an extra five yards. Rather than allowing Way to re-kick the punt on a 4th-and-4, head coach Ron Rivera elected to keep the offense on the field. That gamble paid off, as Dontrelle Inman got open for a 15-yard gain.
Washington then got to work moving down the field thanks to contributions from J.D. McKissic and McLaurin. Then, on a first-and-goal from the Giants' five-yard line, Washington finally found the end zone for the first time with a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone to Thomas.
New York will receive the ball at the start of the second half, but the last-minute score gave Washington momentum it needed to keep its comeback alive.