Friday, September 29, 2023

Dexter Lawrence’s offsides penalty on Dustin Hopkins’ missed field goal costs Giants in loss to Washington

The New York Giants keep finding ways to shoot themselves in the foot, and are 0-2 as a result. The latest blunder was by Dexter Lawrence in the final seconds of Thursday’s 30-29 loss to the Washington Football Team, as the defensive tackle committed an offsides penalty on a missed 48-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins

Hopkins pushed the kick to the right as the Giants celebrated the victory, but there was a flag on the play for Lawrence. The play did not count and Hopkins got a second chance from 43 yards, drilling the kick with no time left and giving Washington the victory. 

Lawrence, a 2019 first-round pick, has started all but one game in his NFL career. He has six sacks and 19 quarterback hits in 34 games, recording one tackle in Thursday’s loss. Despite the crucial mistake, Giants head coach Joe Judge won’t blame him for the defeat. 

“We all get paid pretty well,” Judge said after the loss. “Pressure is part of the job right? I mean, my son is playing high school football right now. He ain’t having that kind of pressure because he’s playing for fun. Every coach and every player are paid very well at this level. It’s the ultimate level of competition. It’s the ultimate team sport. 

“There’s pressure for all of us. We can handle that. We prepare to handle that. We talk a lot through our team building, our leadership building that when things like this happen — we respond the right way as a team. In terms of the pressure that we’ll be under, that’s something we haven’t prepared for already.” 

Washington is 1-1 to start the season while New York starts 0-2 for the fifth consecutive season. The Giants chances of making the playoffs — even in the NFC East — are a longshot. Over the last two seasons, teams that started 0-2 have not made the playoffs and 11.6% of teams made the playoffs after losing their first two games since 1990. 

Even in a 17-game season, the odds of making the postseason are slim. Just 30 of 258 teams have made the playoffs after starting 0-2 and only 15 have won their division (5.8%). 

Lawrence’s penalty was one of many errors by the Giants in the loss. Darius Slayton’s drop and Joe Judge calling a timeout because two of his guys weren’t off the field holding a two-point lead with under two minutes to play were the other fourth-quarter miscues that hurt New York. 

This loss will haunt the Giants for a while, and may be an indicator of how their 2021 season will go.

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