NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 18 Game Recap: Washington Football Team 22, New York Giants 7

East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) runs for a touchdown as New York Giants free safety Xavier McKinney (29) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Football Team didn’t have to do much but ultimately defeated a lackluster New York Giants team 22-7 to close out the season.

Washington’s Antonio Gibson scored from 18 yards out to take a two-possession lead, which put the game out of reach for the Giants.

It wasn’t difficult for Washington to contain the conservative New York offense, as the Giants converted only 10 first downs and managed just 177 yards of offense. Both teams combined for nine third-down conversions on 30 attempts.

On the bright side, the Giants clinched two top-10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft with the Minnesota Vikings‘ victory over the Chicago Bears.

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Washington Football Team

Quarterback

Taylor Heinicke narrowly outplayed Giants QB Jake Fromm, but that doesn’t mean he played well.

Washington's signal-caller completed 50% of his passes for 120 yards, and he recorded one big-time throw and one turnover-worthy play for the fourth consecutive game.

Given his team's success on the ground, Heinicke played particularly well on play action, completing five of his six play-action attempts for 61 yards and four first downs.

Running backs

Washington’s running attack shined bright against the Giants. Antonio Gibson paced the way, picking up 146 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Six of his attempts gained a first down, and five gained at least 10 yards.

Gibson worked behind an impressive performance from the offensive line that allowed him to average 3.5 yards before contact per carry.

Jaret Patterson and Jonathan Williams also received at least six carries each and combined for 66 rushing yards.

Player Attempts Yards 1DTD% MTF/ATT Stuff rate
Antonio Gibson 21 146 28.6% 0.1 4.8%
Jaret Patterson 7 45 57.1% 0.43 14.3%
Jonathan Williams 6 21 0.0% 0.0 16.7%
Wide Receiver/Tight Ends

Heinicke completed six passes to receivers and tight ends. Four of them went to Terry McLaurin, who finished with a game-high 93 receiving yards and four first-down catches. McLaurin averaged 5.81 yards per route run to earn a season-high 90.2 receiving grade, pending review.

Offensive Line

Ereck Flowers was Washington’s highest-graded run-blocker but also earned one of the lowest pass-blocking grades. The veteran allowed three pressures and two sacks.

Fresh off a contract extension, Charles Leno Jr. played up to his standard, allowing zero pressures on 22 pass-blocking snaps to earn the highest pass-protection grade on the team.

Defensive Line

Washington’s pass rush became a big issue in the second half. After generating just three pressures in the first half, the defensive line combined for 14 pressures and one sack after halftime.

Jonathan Allen led the team with seven pressures and a 24.1% win rate. Four members were involved in a sack, and seven linemen received 70.0-plus defensive grades upon first review.

Player Pass-rush snaps Sacks Pressures Win rate
Jonathan Allen 28 0.5 7 24.1%
Daron Payne 25 0 2 8.0%
Matt Ioannidis 24 0 3 12.0%
William Bradley-King 19 0.5 1 5.0%
James Smith-Williams 16 0.5 1 6.3%
Casey Toohill 14 0 2 14.3%
Shaka Toney 10 0.5 1 9.1%
Linebackers

Cole Holcomb, Jamin Davis and David Mayo each earned 79.0-plus run-defense grades. The three linebackers combined for eight defensive stops and two tackles for loss or no gain.

Secondary

Outside of one possession, Washington’s secondary held up well against a below-average passing attack. The defensive backs combined to allow 10 receptions for just 74 yards, but a miscommunication in coverage gave way for an easy touchdown strike.

Bobby McCain allowed a team-high 28 yards but received an elite coverage grade upon first review. McCain forced one incompletion and recorded two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

Player Coverage snaps Targets Yards allowed INT + FINC Passer rating allowed
Kendall Fuller 38 5 14 1 47.9
Darryl Roberts 38 5 12 0 47.9
Bobby McCain 38 5 28 3 58.8
Danny Johnson 21 2 12 0 91.7
Jeremy Reaves 18 2 8 0 83.3

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New York Giants

Quarterback

Jake Fromm was far from great in the season finale, completing fewer than 50% of his passes for 103 yards. Early on, the Giants showed a complete lack of confidence in the third-string quarterback, evident by the third-and-9 quarterback sneak call from their own 4-yard line.

After Fromm threw for just 16 yards in the opening two quarters, the Giants opened up the playbook in the second half. However, things only got worse, as the Giants quarterback threw a touchdown and a pair of interceptions.

Fromm averaged 3.3 yards per pass attempt, and his 36.8 passing grade will likely be one of the worst marks of the week.

Jake Fromm passing under pressure
Completion % Yards YPA TD:INT Passer rating
Clean Pocket 44.4% 36 2.0 0:1 28.5
Under pressure 53.8% 67 5.2 1:1 62.0
Running backs

Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker split carries, but neither back made an impact on the ground. Barkley averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry to finish with 30 yards on 11 attempts. Booker didn’t fare much better, as he mustered only 14 yards on eight carries. The two running backs combined for one first down, zero broken tackles and zero explosive carries.

Wide Receiver/Tight Ends

Darius Slayton ran 30 routes and finished with 29 receiving yards. His touchdown grab was New York’s only explosive passing play in the game.

Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph registered a contested catch, but none of the Giants receivers went for over 30 yards.

Offensive Line

With Washington blitzing on nearly half of Fromm’s dropbacks, the offensive line started to crumble as the game progressed, combining to allow 12 pressures and two sacks.

Ben Bredeson gave up seven pressures and one sack to receive the lowest pass-blocking grade on the team. Neither Andrew Thomas nor Nate Solder allowed pressure in the game, with both grading above 85.0 in pass protection.

The offensive line also combined for zero positively graded run blocks, and all five starters received sub-50.0 run-block grades upon first review.

Player Pass-blocking snaps Sacks allowed Pressures allowed Pressure rate
Andrew Thomas 37 0 0 0.0%
Billy Price 37 1 2 5.4%
Matt Skura 37 0 3 8.1%
Nate Solder 37 0 0 0.0%
Ben Bredeson 34 1 7 20.6%
Defensive Line

The Giants pass rush got after Heinicke often, but every defensive lineman graded below 70.0 upon first review.

The group combined to generate eight pressures and two sacks. Three members created multiple pressures, and Lorenzo Carter converted his only pressure into a sack. The unit also generated 12 defensive stops and five tackles for loss or no gain against the run.

Linebackers

Jaylon Smith and Tae Crowder were the only Giants linebackers to receive snaps, but neither graded above 57.0 upon first review.

Smith and Crowder combined for three defensive stops, but both linebackers graded significantly worse in run defense. Crowder allowed three catches from three targets for 47 yards and two first downs.

Secondary

James Bradberry gave up the longest reception of the day at 40 yards, but none of New York’s other defensive backs conceded more than 15 yards in coverage. The unit combined to allow 68 yards on five receptions.

Adoree’ Jackson received an 85.3 coverage grade on first review, allowing three yards on two targets and forcing one incompletion. Xavier McKinney nearly intercepted Heinicke before McLaurin knocked the ball out of his hands.

Player Coverage snaps Targets Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
Xavier McKinney 22 2 8 60.4
Adoree’ Jackson 22 2 3 56.3
James Bradberry 22 2 40 95.8
Logan Ryan 19 1 11 112.5
Julian Love 18 1 6 91.7
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