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Instant Analysis: Giants win rematch vs. Commanders, 20-12

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AT A GLANCE

Just two weeks after they finished in a 20-20 tie, the Giants went down to FedExField and defeated the Washington Commanders, 20-12, to bring their record to 8-5-1.

UP NEXT

After four consecutive games against the NFC East, the Giants will travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings (11-3) on Christmas Eve Saturday. The Vikings are coming off an epic matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. After trailing 33-0 at halftime, Minnesota mounted the largest comeback in NFL history and wound up defeating the Colts, 39-36. The win clinched the NFC North title for the Vikings, who currently hold the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

The Commanders will head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers (10-4), who clinched the NFC West title with their win over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.

View photos from the Giants' 20-12 win over the Washington Commanders.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE

*Starting on their own three-yard line, the Giants put together an 18-play drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown run by Saquon Barkley to give the Giants a 14-3 lead with 1:43 left in the first half. The drive looked like it was over when the Giants faced a fourth and nine on Washington's 35-yard line, but Daniel Jones found Richie James for 11 yards and a first down to extend the drive.

*Jones had a very efficient first half as he completed 12 of 16 pass attempts (75 percent) for 104 yards. He finished the game with 160 passing yards and added 35 yards on 10 rush attempts.

*Following a slow start, Saquon Barkley saved his best for when the team needed it most. On the Giants' final scoring drive, Barkley registered runs of 12, 15 and 14 yards to help the offense use up the clock and lead to Graham Gano's second field goal. Barkley finished the game with 18 carries for 87 yards (4.7 avg.) and the touchdown, adding a team-high five receptions for an additional 33 yards.

*Richie James led the team with 42 receiving yards on four receptions. Isaiah Hodgins also caught four passes which went for 37 yards. Hodgins entered Sunday night with touchdowns in consecutive games.

*Ben Bredeson was activated off injured reserve on Saturday, and while Nick Gates started the game at left guard, the two lineman mixed in and out throughout the game.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE

*Playing on Sunday Night Football for the first time in his career, Kayvon Thibodeaux put together his best performance as a pro. After he registered three tackles for loss in the first quarter alone, Thibodeaux made the defensive play of the game when he stripped the ball out of Taylor Heinicke's hands near the goal line and scooped the ball up for a touchdown.

Thibodeaux finished with 12 tackles (nine solo), one sack, three tackles for loss and the touchdown.

When asked earlier this week if he likes playing in primetime, Thibodeaux said "Primetime likes me."

*Azeez Ojulari and Dexter Lawrence combined for a late sack of Heinicke deep in Giants territory with around six minutes left in the fourth quarter. The ball came out, but Heinicke was originally ruled down by contact. However, after a Brian Daboll challenge, the call was overturned and the Giants were awarded the ball.

*The Commanders ran the ball 26 times for 159 yards on the Giants defense, good for an average of 6.1 yards per carry. The Giants are allowing the most yards per rush attempt in the NFL this season, and have surrendered 159 yards or more on the ground in five consecutive games.

*After being signed to the active roster this week, rookie defensive lineman Ryder Anderson picked up a sack for the second consecutive game when he took down Heinicke on third down to force a punt.

*Landon Collins was also elevated from the practice squad Saturday to face his former team. The veteran safety responded with a couple of big plays, including a key stop of Curtis Samuel on a third down play in the second half to force a Commanders punt.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS

*Richie James, who was able to clear the concussion protocol in time for Sunday's game, returned the first punt of the game 23 yards. He added another return for 10 yards later in the half.

*Graham Gano drilled his two field goal attempts, both of which were from 50 yards. Gano was also successful on both of his extra point attempts.

*Jamie Gillan punted the ball five times, three of which pinned the Commanders inside their own 20-yard line. Gillan averaged 42.6 yards per punt.

INACTIVES

NYG: QB Davis Webb, WR David Sills, CB Adoree' Jackson, CB Rodarius Williams, ILB Tae Crowder, G Shane Lemieux, G Jack Anderson

WAS: QB Sam Howell, LB De'Jon Harris, G Chris Paul, T Saahdiq Charles, DE Chase Young, CB Benjamin St-Juste

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