Dustin Hopkins made the most of a second chance gifted by the New York Giants, booting a game-winning field goal as time expired as the Washington Football Team triumphed 30-29 in an entertaining Thursday Night NFL game.
New York’s Dexter Lawrence was called for offsides on Hopkins’s original — unsuccessful — field goal attempt, giving the Giants kicker another chance from five yards closer.
Advertisements - Click the Speaker Icon for Audio
Lawrence’s mistake was one of several by the Giants — starting with a holding call that negated a Daniel Jones touchdown.
Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, filling in for injured Ryan Fitzpatrick and making just his second regular-season start, piloted the clutch drive that eventually delivered victory, but not without some drama.
The Giants appeared to have escaped with the victory when Hopkins’s attempt from 48 yards missed, but Lawrence’s infraction gave him another shot from 43 yards and there was no mistake.
It was just the final turn in a back-and-forth battle that saw five lead changes — three of them in the fourth quarter.
Heinicke, an undrafted fourth-year player, connected with Ricky Seals-Jones to put Washington up 27-26 with less than five minutes remaining.
He then threw an interception to Washington cornerback James Bradberry that set the stage for a Giants field goal that made it 29-27 New York with two minutes to play.
Giants quarterback Jones threw for 249 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 95 yards.
His 58-yard TD run was called back because of holding, but his 11-yard burst set up Graham Gano’s 55-yard field goal with less than five minutes left that put New York in front 26-20 — a lead the Giants wouldn’t be able to maintain.
The Giants also saw offensive lineman Nick Gates carted off the field early with an ugly lower leg injury, later reported by the team to be a fracture.
Gates was hurt when he got tangled with Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen with 5:57 left in the first quarter and left him on the field in pain.
Coach Joe Judge comforted the player as medical staff attended him, placing his leg in an air cast before he was taken from the field, offering a wave to fans.