Jan 9, 2022; East Rutherford, N.J., USA; 
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) runs for a 1st down against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Gibson helps Washington hand Giants sixth straight loss

Antonio Gibson rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown as the Washington Football Team closed the season with a 22-7 win over the New York Giants on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.

In a defensive struggle, Washington’s Bobby McCain scored the game’s first touchdown late in the third quarter, returning an interception 30 yards as his team (7-10) snapped a four-game losing streak. McCain added another interception on the game’s final play.

It was the sixth straight loss for New York (4-13), each by double-digit margins. The Giants had hope when Jake Fromm threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton, cutting Washington’s lead to 12-7 with 11:24 left.

But Washington responded on the ensuing possession. Gibson accounted for 57 of the drive’s 78 yards, the final 18 coming on his touchdown run with 6:28 left.

Gibson averaged nearly 7.0 yards on his 21 carries as he became Washington’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Adrian Peterson in 2018. Gibson’s 21 touchdowns in his first two seasons are a franchise record, as he topped Albert Morris’ mark of 20.

Washington controlled possession much of the afternoon as it outgained New York 325-177. WFT quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 9 of 18 passes for 120 yards. Terry McLaurin caught four passes for 93 yards.

Washington limited Fromm to 15 completions on 31 attempts for 103 yards and held Saquon Barkley to 11 yards on 30 rushes. New York’s most effective weapon was Fromm’s legs as he scrambled five times for 53 yards.

In a static first half, Washington scored field goals on its first and final possessions to take a 6-0 lead. Heinicke scrambled away from pressure and threw a 30-yard pass to McLaurin to set up the first score, a 23-yard field goal by Joey Slye.

Late in the half, McLaurin made an over-the-shoulder catch near the sideline for 40 yards to set up a 43-yard field goal by Slye.

Late in the game, after Tim Settle recovered a fumble by Fromm, Slye made another field goal — from 23 yards — as he finished 12-for-12 on 3-pointers after he was picked up by Washington in November.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) hands the ball off to Cowboys running back Corey Clement (32) against the Washington Football Team at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys can move closer to clinching NFC East vs. Giants

The Dallas Cowboys routinely have taken the New York Giants to task in their recent encounters.

Should the Cowboys (9-4) record their ninth win in the last 10 meetings with the Giants (4-9) on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J., they’ll give themselves a chance to wrap up the NFC East title.

Dallas, which posted a 44-20 victory over New York on Oct. 10, can clinch the division title with a win on Sunday and a tie between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys can also capture the NFC East with a win and a loss by Washington as well as a strength-of-victory tiebreaker over the Eagles.

While the strength-of-victory tiebreaker involves a complicated formula, the more pressing math for the Cowboys involves the health of their two primary running backs. Ezekiel Elliott said he had no issue with his ailing knee after rushing 12 times for 45 yards in Dallas’ 27-20 victory over Washington on Sunday, a game in which fellow running back Tony Pollard sat out with a foot injury.

“I thought Zeke came out of that game good. His communication has been that he’s ready to go,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said of Elliott. “If we were having a full-blown Wednesday practice, I would say he’d be in a full capacity.”

Elliott rushed for 110 yards with two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the previous meeting with New York, while Pollard rolled up 103 scrimmage yards (75 rushing, 28 receiving) on that day. McCarthy initially said that Pollard would be limited in practice on Wednesday, however the latter joined left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) in failing to participate.

Smith is expected to miss his fourth game of the season on Sunday.

The lingering question of the health of Dak Prescott continues to circle around the Cowboys. Prescott has been limited to just two touchdown passes and three interceptions during Dallas’ two-game winning streak.

Taken a step further, Prescott is averaging 261.3 passing yards per game with eight touchdowns and six picks in his last six games since returning from a calf injury after averaging 302.2 yards with 16 TDs and four interceptions in his previous six. Included in the earlier stretch is a 302-yard performance with three touchdowns in the encounter with the Giants.

“I don’t want to say (it’s a) slump, but that’s probably fair,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of Prescott’s recent play on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “But it’s such a multifaceted evaluation that I would say our offense is definitely away from where we were playing five and six games ago from the standpoint of production. … Yes, he is (healthy). He’ll figure it out.”

The Giants likely will figure on Mike Glennon starting a third straight game with fellow quarterback Daniel Jones nursing a neck injury. Glennon threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another in New York’s 37-21 setback to the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday.

“Mike is going to start the game for us,” Giants coach Joe Judge said Wednesday. “This isn’t being coy or anything. Every player who’s at the game can play, and we have plans for every player within a role of what they would do. Do we have anything bracketed out at this point in terms of is (backup Jake Fromm) going to play certain plays or anything? We do not. We do not, so we’re getting Mike ready to play the game, but Jake will also be getting ready and preparing to play the game.”

The availability of running back Saquon Barkley is in question after he missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury. Cornerback Adoree Jackson (quadriceps), guard Ben Bredeson (ankle), kicker Graham Gano (illness) and defensive lineman Austin Johnson (foot) also did not practice Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Logan Ryan of the Giants at the end of the game as the Carolina Panthers faced the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on October 24, 2021.

The Carolina Panthers Faced The New York Giants At Metlife Stadium In East Rutherford Nj On October 24 2021

Giants S Logan Ryan tests positive for COVID-19

New York Giants safety Logan Ryan missed practice Friday due to COVID-19 protocols.

Head coach Joe Judge said Ryan, who is vaccinated, tested positive on Thursday but has not yet been ruled out for Monday night’s game at Tampa Bay.

Judge said the Giants’ medical staff is checking out possible close contacts to Ryan. As a precaution, the team’s unvaccinated players participated via video chat in Friday morning’s meetings.

Ryan, 30, is the Giants’ leading tackler with 72 stops in nine starts this season.

If Ryan can’t go, Julian Love likely will take his place opposite safety Xavier McKinney.

Linebacker Lorenzo Carter also missed Friday’s practice due to a non-COVID illness.

The Giants (3-6) have won two of their past three games entering Monday’s clash with the Buccaneers (6-3).

–Field Level Media

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws against the Las Vegas Raiders in the first half at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in East Rutherford.

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Daniel Jones, Giants try to snap prime-time skid vs. Bucs

Playing under the lights in prime time hasn’t been a good situation for Daniel Jones.

The New York quarterback will look to earn his first win in eight such career starts when the Giants (3-6) visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) on Monday night.

Part of the 0-7 mark are two setbacks this season — a 30-29 loss to the Washington Football Team on a Thursday in September and a 20-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on a Monday earlier this month.

“I really haven’t thought about it,” Jones said of the dubious streak. “I didn’t realize it until recently, but we’re preparing for this week. Each game is different. Each game is a different opportunity, so we’ll look to prepare for this one.”

Overall, New York has lost nine consecutive night games — five on Mondays, three on Thursdays and one on Sunday — since Eli Manning guided the Giants to a 27-23 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Nov. 12, 2018.

The Giants had a chance for a victory over Tampa Bay last season when the teams played on a Monday night. New York led 14-3 late in the first half before the Buccaneers rallied for a 25-23 victory.

Tampa Bay leads the NFC South by one game, but the mood is a bit uneasy after consecutive losses to the New Orleans Saints and Washington.

The Buccaneers gave up 65 points in the two outings to see their ranking in scoring defense (23.6 points per game) slide to a tie for 17th.

Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who has a team-best 5.5 sacks, said the focus this week has been on fixing what’s wrong.

“Start by looking in the mirror and just get back on track and get back to the mindset that we have to go out there and earn every play,” Barrett said. “We have to grind it out. Nothing is going to be given to us. Nothing is going to be easy, so we have to work for everything that we want.”

The offense continues to be solid as Tampa Bay ranks third in scoring (31.0 points per game). Quarterback Tom Brady leads the NFL with 27 touchdown passes and has thrown for 2,870 yards and seven interceptions.

Receiver Mike Evans is second in the NFL with nine touchdown catches this season and has 70 in his career.

The 28-year-old Evans’ next score will tie him with team legend Mike Alstott (71 from 1996-2006) for the most total touchdowns in franchise history. Alstott, a fullback, rushed for 58 scores and had 13 as a receiver.

“For Mike (Evans) to do it, it shows an unbelievable level of consistency and availability,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said of the eighth-year pro. “He doesn’t miss many games. When you put those two together, with seven years of 1,000 yards, it’s availability and consistency at a very high level.”

As for New York, the Giants had a bye last week after beating the Las Vegas Raiders 23-16 on Nov. 7. The team also is hopeful running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) can return after a four-game absence.

Barkley was hurt during a 44-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 10. He has rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Barkley was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice. Giants coach Joe Judge wasn’t ready to say the Giants can count on having Barkley against Tampa Bay, but offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is surely eager to call Barkley’s number.

“He’s just a great football player,” said Garrett, the former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. “I was on the other side of this for a couple of years against him, and he’s one of those players that can just really impact a game.”

Among the Giants who sat out Thursday was receiver Sterling Shepard (quadriceps).

Receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) sat out for the Buccaneers and could miss his fourth straight game. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs) was a full participant and is on track to return after missing five of the past six games.

Tampa Bay placed cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) on injured reserve earlier this week.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; A general overall view of the NFL Shield logo at midfield during an NFL International Series game between the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hall of Fame LB Sam Huff dies at 87

Sam Huff, a five-time Pro Bowl selection who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982, died Saturday in Winchester, Va. He was 87.

Huff, a feared middle linebacker whose NFL career spanned 13 seasons, played for the New York Giants from 1956-63 and the Washington franchise from 1964-67 and again in ’69.

He died in a hospital, The New York Times reported. His daughter, Catherine Huff Myers, told the newspaper her father found out he had dementia in 2013.

Huff played in six NFL championship games in his eight seasons with the Giants. He was named a first-team All-Pro twice, in 1958 and ’59.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Pro Football Hall of Famer and Washington Ring of Fame inductee Sam Huff,” read a statement from Washington team owners Dan and Tanya Snyder on Saturday. “Anyone who knew Sam knew what an amazing person he was. He was an iconic player and broadcaster for the franchise for over 40 years and was a great friend to our family. He represented the franchise with honor and respect on the field and in the booth and was beloved by our fans.”

Huff was recalled for his battles with two of the NFL’s greatest fullbacks — Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns and Jim Taylor of the Green Bay Packers. But Huff also had 30 career interceptions, along with 17 fumble recoveries and even two touchdowns. He played in 168 NFL games, starting 159.

On Nov. 30, 1959, nearly a year after the sudden-death NFL title game between the Giants and Baltimore Colts sent the popularity of pro football skyrocketing, Time magazine put Huff’s portrait on its cover. He was the highlight of a story titled “A Man’s Game,” an article about pro football.

Huff’s rugged persona was secured in October 1960 when Walter Cronkite narrated the CBS documentary “The Violent World of Sam Huff.” Huff had a microphone on his shoulder pads for a preseason game against the Chicago Bears the past August.

Viewers watched and listened to Huff call signals in the huddle; he then threatened a Bears receiver he thought was taking advantage of him.

“You do that again, you’ll get a broken nose,” Huff said. “Don’t hit me on the chin with your elbow. I’m not going to warn you no more.”

In a 2002 interview for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Huff talked about his toughness as a player.

“I never let up on anybody,” he said. “I don’t think I ever quit on a play. If you had the football, I was going to hit you, and when I hit you, I tried to hit you hard enough to hurt you. That’s the way the game should be played.”

Huff was an All-American at West Virginia as a guard and tackle on offense and defense. The Giants chose him in the third round of the 1956 NFL Draft.

In reshaping a veteran team after the 1963 season, the Giants traded Huff to Washington for running back Dick James and defensive end Andy Stynchula. Huff was angered by the trade.

Huff played for Washington for the next four seasons, then retired, then returned for a last season as a player and linebackers coach in 1969, when Vince Lombardi was named Washington’s head coach.

Huff later became a radio announcer for Washington games.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney (89) runs after making a catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Giants WR Kadarius Toney apologizes for throwing punch

New York Giants rookie receiver Kadarius Toney apologized Monday for throwing a punch and getting ejected from Sunday’s loss at Dallas.

“Wanna take the time out to apologize to the entire organization, Owners, My Teammates and the entire #BigBlue … your emotions just can get the best of you sometimes…..No Excuses just actions,” he posted on Twitter.

His fourth-quarter ejection in Sunday’s 44-20 loss in Arlington, Texas, came after a breakout performance by the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Toney, 22, set season highs with 10 catches for 189 yards and also rushed once for 7 yards. He has 20 receptions for 281 yards in five games this season.

After Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee tossed Toney to the turf after the whistle, Toney got to his feet and threw a punch at Kazee’s helmet. It happened with about six minutes left and New York trailing 34-13.

“There’s a pretty distinct line in terms of competing and doing things we’re not going to condone as a team and put us behind,” Giants coach Joe Judge said after the game. “That’s not going to be accepted. That’s not going to be condoned.”

NFL Network reported that Toney is likely to be fined but not suspended by the league.

–Field Level Media