LANDOVER, Md. -- Coming into the season, Washington's strength was expected to be its defense. It's not.
Coming into the season, Washington's quarterback was expected to be Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's not.
Coming into Thursday night's game Washington and New York were expected to play ugly low-scoring football. They did not.
This was a wild game with a wild stock report. And it ended in ridiculous fashion, a 30-29 "classic" that saw a game-losing kick turn into a game winner thanks to an offsides penalty.
- Birthday boy - Terry McLaurin is Washington's best player. Full stop. He dominated on Thursday going for double-digit catches (11) with 107 receiving yards and a touchdown. He turned 26 earlier this week and looks poised to be Washington's best wideout since The Posse was getting downfield. In fact, he already is.
- Beast mode - Jonathan Allen logged two sacks on Thursday and looked like a true force in the interior of Washington's defensive line. On the season Allen already has three sacks. He got paid handsomely this summer, so far this fall he's earning it.
- Good Heinicke - We will get to the bad, but late in the fourth quarter Taylor Heinicke engineered an incredible two play touchdown drive that gave Washington the lead. It was a pair of big plays - big throws to J.D. McKissic and Ricky Seals-Jones, and highlighted the playmaking ability of the underdog QB. Then something else happened.
- Dustin Hopkins - A kicker who struggled in the preseason, who seemed on his last legs in Washington, missed a game-winning kick from 48 and then was giving another chance by the Giants. Hopkins didn't miss the second attempt from 43 and he capped off a 3-for-3 day with the winner. It wasn't pretty, but he's 6-for-7 on the year and for now is a hero.
- Bad Heinicke - With the chance to ice a victory, Heinicke threw an unbelievably bad interception deep in his own territory. It gave the Giants the ball already in field goal range and just moments later New York took the lead with a gifted 23-yard field goal.
- The entire defense - One game after allowing a historic 14 of 19 third down conversions to the Los Angeles Chargers, Washington's defense again could not get key stops. Giants QB Daniel Jones looked like Josh Allen and there's not one unit that excelled throughout the game. The linebackers are a major problem, the secondary has gotten cooked repeatedly, and the defensive line has been underwhelming at times. This defense is elite? Psssh.
- Ready or not - Rookie tackle Sam Cosmi had a tough night with two killer penalties and getting overwhelmed at the point of contact. Rookies often take time to mature in the NFL, but for Cosmi, there is no time. He's a starting tackle in the NFL, and Washington needs him to be better.