EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Joe Judge won’t have a lot of time to enjoy his first win as New York Giants coach.
In fact, the 38-year-old Judge barely had time to celebrate as the Giants rode a wild final four minutes, a decisive play by Mr. Irrelevant and a game-saving late stop by the defense on a 2-point conversion to a 20-19 victory over Washington on Sunday.
After the final whistle, Judge hugged people on the sideline and then immediately starting thinking about playing the Eagles in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
“The emotional sideline was just joy for players,” Judge said. “To see them smile and see them rewarded for hard work, that’s really why you play.”
The Giants, who blew a 10-point lead, gave Judge a game ball and doused him with liquid from bottles in the locker room after the game, which was decided on two big plays in the final 3 1/2 minutes.
Rookie linebacker Tae Crowder, the last player taken in the NFL draft — Mr. Irrelevant — scooped up a fumble and ran 43 yards for a touchdown to give New York a 20-13 lead.
Washington (1-5) came right back and got within a point on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Allen to Cam Sims with 36 seconds left in regulation to cap a 10-play, 75-yard march.
Washington coach Ron Rivera rolled the dice and went for the win with a 2-point conversion. Allen found no one open, scrambled to his left and had his pass under pressure fall incomplete, giving New York (1-5) a W.
“I told them in the locker room I play to win,” Rivera said to reporters. “I told you guys that’s part of my philosophy. The only way to learn to win is to play to win. That’s what I want those guys to understand.”
The stop allowed the Giants to avoid a second 0-6 start since 2013.
Allen said he looked around after the snap and didn’t see much open.
“You want to give our guys a chance to make a play,” said Allen, who finished 31 of 42 for 280 yards. “Glad we went for 2. Wish we would have gotten it.”
Washington rallied from a 10-point deficit to tie the game midway before a rare Giants quarterback pressure turned the game around.
On a third-and-9 from the Giants 45, linebacker Kyler Fackrell strip-sacked Allen for an 8-yard loss. Crowder chased down the bouncing ball, gained possession and ran untouched to the end zone — to the applause of teammates. No fans were allowed at the game at MetLife Stadium.
“I was just in the right spot at the right time,” Crowder said.
Graham Gano added two field goals for New York.
Allen threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Logan Thomas, and Dustin Hopkins, who missed from 47 yards on the opening drive, hit two shorter field goals.
Jones, who rushed for a team-high 74 yards, was 12 of 19 for 112 yards and an interception by Kendall Fuller in the back of the end zone that ended a nine-minute-plus drive.
“We have battled these first five weeks and haven’t gotten the results we all hoped for,” Jones said. “To get it was thrilling, and coach’s first win, it was a lot of fun to do that.”
Full Box Score
Daniel Jones: 12/19, 112 yards, TD, INT
Kyle Allen: 31/42, 280 yards, 2 TD, INT
Devonta Freeman: 18 car, 61 yards
Daniel Jones: 7 car, 74 yards
J.D. McKissic: 8 car, 41 yards
Antonio Gibson: 9 car, 30 yards
Kyle Allen: 2 car, 8 yards
Peyton Barber: 4 car, 6 yards
Darius Slayton: 2 rec, 41 yards, TD
Evan Engram: 3 rec, 30 yards
Kaden Smith: 3 rec, 15 yards
Golden tate: 1 rec, 11 yards
Dion Lewis: 1 rec, 10 yards
C.J. Board: 1 rec, 8 yards
Austin Mack: 1 rec, 1 yard
Terry McLaurin: 7 rec, 74 yards
Dontrelle Inman: 5 rec, 45 yards
J.D. McKissic: 6 rec, 43 yards
Logan Thomas: 3 rec, 42 yards, TD
Isaiah Wright: 4 rec, 25 yards
Antonio Gibson: 4 rec, 25 yards
Cam Sims: 1 rec, 22 yards, TD
Peyton Barber: 1 rec, 4 yards
Graham Gano: 2/2 FG, Long 33
Riley Dixon: 2 punts, 70 yards (1 inside 20)
Greg Zuerlein: 2/3, Long 35
Chris Jones: 1 punt, 55 yards