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Giants look to rebound after an extended break

SAQUON-BARKLEY

The short week left the Giants no chance to dwell on their Week 1 loss. After losing another on Thursday night, they have nothing but time.

Two games in five days left the Giants at 0-2. They can't start digging out of that hole until a week from Sunday when they return to action at home on Sept. 26 against the Atlanta Falcons. Until then, they have more than a week to get up from a gut-punch loss to the division rival Washington Football Team.  

"To be honest with you, I don't really focus on the emotion of frustration, disappointment or anything like that," coach Joe Judge said Friday on a conference call. "That's not really something that's going to help you be productive going forward. I say it all the time, I think it's important we talk about the process. To me, again, the truth is the truth. Regardless of the outcome, you've got to come in and really view it objectively of understanding what do we have to correct and what do we do well enough to go ahead and build on. At this time of year in September, it's a large part of finding out who you are as a team, it's a large part of finding out what you're going to do schematically really with the people you have going forward."

Judge didn't pin the 30-29 loss on any one player or situation in his postgame press conference, but a team is the sum of its parts, just like a game is an aggregate of its plays. Wide receiver Darius Slayton and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence took responsibility for the hand they played in the outcome while speaking with reporters the day after the game.

"It's a play that I 100 percent expect to make," said Slayton, who dropped an open touchdown pass from Daniel Jones and the opportunity to give the Giants a two-possession lead late in the game. "I tried to run it down. I should have ran it down. I've ran down a lot of balls in my life. At the end of the day, it's a four-quarter game, and the game was far from over at that point. Had to move on quick, and today is a new day, next week is a new week. Move on quick and make it back in the future."

"That's on me," said Lawrence, who drew an offside penalty to give Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins a second life to make the game-winning field goal. "I've got to be more disciplined in that time at the end of the game like that in a critical situation. That's why I'm on the field. It was unfortunate to have it happen then, and he missed it, but I've just got to do better."

Lawrence was asked repeatedly if he thought he was offside.

"I'm supposed to move when the ball moves," he said. "Obviously, I gave it to the ref to make a decision to think that I moved before the ball moved. My job is to get off and attack whoever is in front of me."

He added, "I hold myself to a high standard. I don't play for myself, I play for my brothers on the field with me. For things like that, it is part of the game, but at the same time, for me, I can't make that mistake. I don't want to let my brothers down. I don't want to let my family down. It's just an unfortunate turn of events. The frustration is there on myself, not because of the call or anything like that. It's just more that I've got to be better in that situation."

Check out the best photos from the New York Giants' primetime game against the Washington Football Team.

*Despite losing for the first time in five starts against Washington, Jones once again performed well in the rivalry game. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 249 yards and a 33-yard touchdown to Darius Slayton. He also broke his own franchise record for most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback with 95. He now owns three of the top five spots. Slayton, who was part of the same 2019 draft class with Jones, knows he is capable of those performances.

"I think he played a great game," Slayton said. "I think he made all the throws he needed to make to win the game. Like you already said, I could have helped him out making a play for him. Probably gives us a good chance to win the game. That's who we believe he is. We believe that he is that guy that's going to go out there, make the throws, make the plays to win the games, and that's what he showed last night."

*Speaking to reporters 12 hours after the final whistle, Judge did not have much new information yet on offensive lineman Nick Gates, who suffered a lower left leg fracture in the first quarter and was carted off the field. One of seven team captains, Gates was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he remained overnight and underwent surgery Friday morning. Gates had moved to left guard on Thursday night, and Billy Price started at center.

"We haven't talked to the trainers yet because a lot of players haven't come through yet for their normal treatment and checkup," Judge said. "In terms of the offensive line as a whole, I was very encouraged by a lot of things. I thought mixing some different people in there – obviously, Billy in there for the first time, getting Ben [Bredeson] back in as a left guard, thought Nate [Solder] and Andrew [Thomas] did a solid job on the edges right there. I think that unit's really moving in the direction we want it to and although we're far from a finished product and far from perfect right now, I'm very encouraged by how these guys continue to work and support each other and take coaching and go out there on a weekly basis. I think they've obviously seen two very, very talented fronts so far to start the season. I don't know if any of them get any more talented than what we saw last night. The ability to go out there and operate together and allow Daniel to get the ball out on time and move the ball down the field."

*Running back Saquon Barkley increased his workload against Washington despite the condensed week. He had 13 carries for 57 yards (long of 41 yards) in addition to two catches for 12 yards. Barkley touched the ball 11 times on Sunday in his first game since suffering a serious knee injury nearly a year ago.

"I was really pleased with Saquon last night as far as how he went out there," Judge said. "Again, I haven't seen him today. I'm sure every player has nicks and bruises after games, but I thought his football conditioning really looked good. That's something we've had to really try and push and build him into. He's done a really good job for us working to do that. When you jump over from rehab into practice, that's a different animal, it just truly is. We try to do everything we can to simulate for our players of replicating a practice when they're not with us as a team, but there's just a natural change when you get the pads on and you get moving around with the team. He's worked real hard at that.

"I was pleased at how he moved around last night. He did some good things for us in the game. He played tough for us. He ran the ball hard. He had the explosive run for us and did some nice things in the passing game. Obviously, he's going to be a key part of our offense and our team. He's a key leader on our team. We'll keep finding ways to be creative and get it to him. Again, look, this guy getting out there, getting his feet wet the first couple of weeks and getting moving with it, I'm really encouraged with where he's at right now."

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