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Coach Ron Rivera’s quest for the NFC East division is slowly fading away. In a stretch of games that Rivera deemed as key to meeting that goal, the Washington Football Team has let two of them slip away. The most disappointing of them all is Sunday’s 20-19 loss against the winless New York Giants.
Washington’s woes started early when quarterback Kyle Allen threw the ball directly into the hands of Giants cornerback James Bradberry on what looked to be a very bad read on his part. Bradberry returned the ball to the 27-yard line for a Giants first down which later led to 23-yard touchdown.
Washington’s defense had trouble keeping Giants quarterback Daniel Jones at bay in the first half. Most notably, they allowed a 49-yard run by Jones who is not known for making big plays with his feet. The run accounted for the ninth time the defense gave up a play of 40 yards or more, the worst in the NFL.
“I knew he could run, but I thought it was Daniel Jackson for a minute,” Giants wide receiver Darius Slay said. Slay was making a playful reference by inserting Lamar Jackson’s last name.
With the Giants leading 10-0, Allen responded well to his earlier mistake by completing 13-of-15 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown. He also led a drive that resulted in a field goal.
A clutch interception in the end zone by Kendall Fuller gave Washington a 13-10 lead going into halftime.
The highlight of the second half came when Kyle Allen committed a costly fumble late in the fourth quarter on a drive that could have possibly won the game. The Giants returned the fumble 43-yards for a touchdown to take control, 20-13.
Allen responded once again by leading Washington on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a deep shot down the left side to wide receiver Cam Sims in the end zone. The 22-yard catch was Sims’ first career touchdown.
The comeback play brought the team within one-point, 19-20. Washington only needed the extra point to tie the game.
Instead, “Riverboat Ron” decided to put his nickname to the test and go for the two-point conversion.
The offense stayed on the field but the Giants defense had good coverage on Washington and Allen couldn’t find anyone open. With that, Washington handed the Giants their first win of the season.
“I went for two because I believe that the only way you learn to win is to play to win,” Rivera said.
It’s understandable that Rivera did not want to go into overtime but the offense did nothing to inspire much confidence throughout the game. In that scenario, taking the points seems to be the most logical decision.
On the flip side, if the two-point conversion attempt would have been successful, everyone would be praising Rivera for believing in his team. Unfortunately, the gamble did not work. Instead Washington is 1-5 and Cam Sims’ first career touchdown won’t be praised as the game winner.
The Washington Football Team will have to move on quickly as they have another division matchup against the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday at FedEx Field.