Giants take massive step toward playoff berth with resilient win over Washington

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Dec 18, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) attempts a passel against the Washington Commanders during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have taken another massive step toward their first playoff berth since 2016 with a resilient win over the Washington Commanders. The Giants held on to their lead despite a late push from the Commanders’ offense, winning the game 20 -12 in dramatic fashion. With this primetime Week 15 win, the Giants improved their record to 8-5-1 on the season and improve their chances of making the 2022 postseason to 90% (per ESPN Analytics).

Main takeaways from Giants vs Commanders Week 15

Going into this divisional, primetime matchup, the main story was whether or not the Giants would be able to contain the Commanders’ fierce defensive line. In reality, it ended up being the Giants’ defensive line that made the difference and earned its team the victory.

Kayvon Thibodeaux turned in the first dominant performance of his career. The rookie fifth-overall draft pick stuffed the stat sheet, recording an absurd 12 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 1 touchdown. The highlight of the game was delivered by Thibodeaux when he lit up Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke, causing a strip-sack and recovering the fumble for a touchdown.

The New York Giants kept the ball clean, not committing a single turnover in the matchup while forcing two from Washington. Daniel Jones kept the ball clean as he threw for 160 yards, completing 21 of 32 passes. Jones did not score a touchdown in the game but he did not turn the ball over. His efficiency propelled the offense to success and opened things up for Saquon Barkley to take over.

Saquon Barkley once again carried the Giants’ offense to victory. He took 18 carries for 87 yards and 1 rushing touchdown while also adding 33 receiving yards on 5 receptions. Barkley came up clutch down the stretch, allowing the Giants to milk the clock and seal the victory.

For the first time all season, the New York Giants’ offensive line did not surrender a sack. Andrew Thomas and the men up front kept Daniel Jones clean tonight, neutralizing the Commanders’ impressive defensive front.

This was a statement victory for Brian Daboll and the New York Giants. After an embarrassing 22 – 48 defeat last week, the Giants bounced back with a critical victory in a must-win matchup over the Commanders. The momentum is behind Big Blue again as they earn their first divisional win of the season.

All eyes now point toward the New York Giants’ Week 16 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. If the Giants can pull off an upset win in Minneapolis, their chances of making the playoffs jump up to 99% (per FiveThirtyEight). The postseason is well within reach for Big Blue as Brian Daboll looks to end the team’s six-year playoff drought in his rookie season as head coach.