Dustin Hopkins made a 43-yard field goal on an untimed down — after a penalty negated his miss seconds earlier — and Washington beat the New York Giants 30-29 on Thursday night.
Hopkins missed his first attempt to win the game, but he was given a reprieve when Dexter Lawrence was flagged for being offside. His next attempt was good, giving Washington (1-1) a wild victory and providing another moment in the sun for Taylor Heinicke.
The 28-year-old Heinicke, who became a bit of a sensation in Washington when he came out of obscurity to play in a loss to Tom Brady and Tampa Bay in last season’s playoffs, threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns. He cost Washington dearly with a late interception, but after Graham Gano's fifth field goal of the game gave the Giants a 29-27 lead with 2:00 remaining, Heinicke guided Washington back into field goal range.
“He does have the ability to throw the ball and make all the throws. We’ve seen that,” coach Ron Rivera said. “And he’s got a lot of confidence.”
Daniel Jones threw for 249 yards and a touchdown for the Giants (0-2). He also ran for 95 yards and a TD.
For most of the night, it was Washington’s highly touted defense that wasn’t pulling its weight. New York scored on its first four possessions of the second half, but after the Giants went up 26-20, Heinicke needed just 17 seconds to put Washington ahead.
J.D. McKissic slipped downfield for a 56-yard reception, and then Ricky Seals-Jones outjumped Adoree’ Jackson in the corner of the end zone for a 19-yard TD that put Washington up 27-26.
The Giants had to punt after that, but as Washington was trying to run out the clock, James Bradberry picked off a pass by Heinicke, giving the Giants the ball at the Washington 20.
Washington's defense forced a field goal, giving Heinicke another chance. Then the penalty on Lawrence gave Hopkins his second chance.
“It’s going to be a tough lesson,” Giants coach Joe Judge said. “I’m not going to put this on Dexter.”
After struggling to stop Justin Herbert and the Chargers last weekend, Washington’s defense had its problems again at the start of this game. New York went 79 yards in 11 plays the first time it had the ball, taking a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard run by Jones.
After Washington tied it on Heinicke’s 11-yard scoring pass to Terry McLaurin, Jones broke free for what initially looked like a 58-yard touchdown run. That play was shortened by a holding penalty, however, and the Giants settled for a field goal.
Washington took a 14-10 lead on a 2-yard TD run by McKissic in the final minute of the half.
Jones found Darius Slayton for a 33-yard TD in the third quarter that put New York ahead 20-14.
Heinicke's late interception was the game's lone turnover, but there were plenty of penalties on both teams. Washington had nine for 80 yards, and the Giants had 11 for 81.
Giants: OL Nick Gates was carted off with a broken leg in the first quarter. Gates, normally a center, played guard Thursday after New York put Shane Lemieux on injured reserve.
Washington: DT Matt Ioannidis left in the first half with a knee injury but returned to the game.
Giants: New York returns home to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 26.
Washington: Two straight road games await Washington, with the first coming Sept. 26 against the Buffalo Bills.
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