LANDOVER, Md. — The Giants aren’t going to blow this game, are they?
On Sunday, they led 24-19 when the Commanders took the kickoff from the 19-yard line to the Giants 48-yard line.
The clock was winding down, but the game was clearly not over yet, as Sam Howell looked to his right side toward tight end Logan Thomas with 29 seconds left.
This is where Isaiah Simmons enters the fray.
“That’s what I’ve always strived to be, a player who can create things that change the game,” Simmons said.
Simmons not only changed the game, he ended it.
He jumped to intercept the ball, then sprinted down the sideline and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown. 31-19 win Because the Giants look more comfortable than they actually are.
In late August, the Giants sent a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Cardinals in exchange for Simmons, the 8th overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Simmons is a versatile linebacker/safety who will need a creative defensive coordinator to find the best position for him, but he hasn’t had the impact the Giants were hoping to get from him.
He didn’t make the starting lineup, but he did have a memorable performance as the Giants ended a three-game losing streak.
“Man, I’m happy for him,” outside linebacker Kevon Thibodeau said. “He got a slow start coming in and I knew he wanted to play a bigger role and he just kept growing. It’s a New system, new team, new players and he’s settled into the team so I’m really happy for him that he was able to finish the game.”
At the end of the second quarter, Washington quarterback Sam Howell caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Micah McFadden and Deonte Banks to score a touchdown. The Giants’ lead shrank to 14-9 and emotions boiled over on both sides.
There was no immediate whistle, and Xavier McKinney knocked Howell out of bounds, seemingly at the 1-yard line.
That sparked a scuffle in which two players — Giants cornerback Cordell Float and Commander receiver Curtis Samuel — were ejected.
“I mean, he scored, but we won the game, so I’m happy,” McKinney said. “We’re over it and we’re fine.”
How rare is it that the Giants had touchdown passes of 24 yards (to Saquon Barkley) and 40 yards (to Darius Slayton) in the first half?
The Giants had just 22 completions of 20 yards or more in their first 10 games, ranking 24th in the NFL in explosive plays.
In 2022, the Giants ranked last in the league in passing plays of 20 yards or more.
Slayton injured his arm late in the second quarter on hard hits from JaTavis Martin and Kendall Fuller and was unable to play after halftime.