On that play, McLaurin made the catch on a slow-developing crossing route before breaking a tackle attempt by cornerback Isaac Yiadom, turning on the burners and outracing three Giants defenders to the end zone for his longest reception of the year. McLaurin has seven catches in each of his past three games.
Fail: Washington’s QB carousel
McLaurin has three touchdown catches this season, and each was thrown by a different quarterback. His score Sunday was Alex Smith’s first touchdown pass in 728 days; Smith came on in relief of Kyle Allen after the Washington starter suffered an ankle injury late in the first quarter that probably ended his season.
Smith completed 24 of 32 passes for 325 yards and almost led Washington all the way back from a 20-3 halftime deficit, but he also threw three interceptions, including two in the final three minutes that ended Washington’s comeback bid. While Coach Ron Rivera already announced that Smith will start next week, there’s a good case to be made that it would make more sense to go back to Dwayne Haskins for the rest of the year.
Hail: Alfred Morris
If only he still played for the burgundy and gold. The former Washington running back and fan favorite had 67 yards on nine carries, with 44 of those yards coming on a 10-play touchdown drive in the second quarter that gave the Giants a 20-3 lead. Washington had nine carries for 37 yards as a team.
Washington’s run defense was atrocious, particularly in the first half: New York eclipsed 100 yards while averaging more than five yards per carry. Morris, who has rushed for more than 6,000 yards in his career, signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2016 after spending his first four seasons with Washington. His performance Sunday suggests he still has enough life in his 31-year-old legs to play a few more years and perhaps complete his NFC East revenge tour by joining the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fail: Five turnovers
If you knew Washington and New York would combine for five turnovers, you might expect Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to be responsible for a majority of them. You would be wrong: The Giants won the turnover battle, 5-0.
Washington was in a giving mood from the start, with rookie running back Antonio Gibson losing a fumble after a game of hot potato on his team’s first play from scrimmage. Washington tight end Logan Thomas could have bailed Gibson out by falling on the ball or having the presence of mind to knock it out of bounds, but he whiffed on his scoop attempt and allowed Jabrill Peppers to recover for New York.
Isaiah Wright muffed a punt later in the first quarter for Washington’s second turnover, and Smith threw the first of his three interceptions toward the end of the first half.
Hail: Cam Sims and Kam Curl
Sims, who had his first career touchdown catch in Washington’s Week 6 loss to the Giants, had three receptions for 110 yards, including a 45-yarder on Washington’s touchdown drive to start the second half. Curl, a seventh-round draft pick who was making his first start at safety in place of the injured Landon Collins, had a couple of big hits on Jones, including a key sack that forced a punt in the final minutes. He also led Washington with 11 tackles.
Curl had some rough moments, too — he was beat on a touchdown by Evan Engram — but the rookie out of Arkansas showed promise.
Especially early on, it was impossible to tell which team was on a short week after playing on “Monday Night Football” (New York) and which team was coming off a bye (Washington). Fox showed a stat during the broadcast that eight of the past nine times a team that played on MNF played a team coming off its bye, the team on the short week prevailed. Washington was more rusty than rested, and that trend continued.
Hail: Morgan Moses’s passion
Moses gave his teammates an earful on the sideline toward the end of an ugly first half in which Washington was outgained 244-132. Moses contributed to his team’s struggles with an illegal-use-of-hands penalty that forced Washington to settle for a field goal in the second quarter, but the players seemed to respond to their captain’s fiery message. Fox sideline reporter Shannon Spake relayed the family-friendly version: “We’re better than this.”
Fail: Losing to Daniel Jones
The Giants quarterback’s numbers weren’t spectacular — 23 for 34 for 212 yards and a touchdown — but he committed no turnovers for only the second time in 22 career games. The first instance was when he threw five touchdowns in an overtime win at FedEx Field last December. Jones improved to 4-0 as a starter against Washington. He is 1-16 against everyone else.
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