Last Updated: November 20, 2023, 03:30 IST
LANDOVER, Md.: Sam Howell threw three interceptions among six Commanders turnovers, and Washington may have reached the low point of Ron Rivera’s tenure with a 31-19 home loss Sunday to the last-place New York Giants.
The Commanders (4-7) lost to the Giants (3-8) for the second time this season, this time to undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito, who picked up his first NFL win in his second start. Washington has lost seven of nine since opening with back-to-back victories, falling out of the playoff race despite a mediocre field of teams competing for three NFC wild-card spots.
After a late comeback bid was ended by Isaiah Simmons picking off Howell and returning it 54 yards for a touchdown with 16 seconds left, Rivera’s future, and that of the entire coaching staff and front office, is now squarely in the forefront in the first season since Josh Harris’ ownership group bought the team.
Favored by more than a touchdown, the Commanders fumbled in nearly every possible way: Logan Thomas after a catch, Byron Pringle on a kickoff return and Chris Rodriguez Jr. on a run.
Inexplicable picks by Howell — lauded by players and coaches in recent weeks as the franchise’s potential QB of the future — came in the first and fourth quarters.
The giveaways made it impossible for Washington to get back into the game against New York, which scored a first-quarter TD for the first time all season. The Giants never trailed and won for the first time since Oct. 22, when they beat the Commanders 14-7 at the Meadowlands.
Down the East Coast, the result was the same even with DeVito stepping in for injured backup Tyrod Taylor. The 25-year-old third-stringer who still lives with his family in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, completed 18 of 26 passes for 246 yards and three TD passes: two to Saquon Barkley and one to Darius Slayton.
The Giants dominated despite allowing DeVito to be sacked nine times and rushing for zero yards as a team in the first half. The defense stepped up, with Nick McLeod forcing a fumble and making his first interception among the big plays by the unit.
Howell was also sacked four times in a back-to-earth game for the second-year pro who entered with the most passing yards in the league. He threw a late 8-yard TD pass to Jahan Dotson and led another drive to the New York 48 before his third interception sealed it.
Commanders safety Xavier McKinney shoved Howell out of bounds after officials had signaled a touchdown on his run in the second quarter. That set off a melee in the corner, leading to the ejections of Cor’Dale Flott and Commanders receiver Curtis Samuel.
Giants: Slayton was ruled out early in the second half with a right arm injury. … OT Evan Neal (ankle) and CB Adoree Jackson (concussion) were out for a second consecutive week.
Commanders: DE Efe Obada was carted off with a right leg injury six plays in. … RB Antonio Gibson was inactive because of a toe injury. DE James Smith Williams and FB Alex Armah were out because of hamstring injuries.
Giants: Host the New England Patriots next Sunday.
Commanders: Visit Dallas on Thursday for the Cowboys’ annual Thanksgiving Day home game.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)