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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Brian Daboll made baffling decision at end of Giants’ tie

Nov 20, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll looks up during the second half against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants and Washington Commanders played to a tie on Sunday, and Brian Daboll did not exactly put his team in the best position to win in overtime.

Daboll made a couple of questionable decisions late in the 20-20 draw. The first was when the coach chose to punt with 1:42 left in OT. The Giants had 4th-and-3 at the Washington 45-yard line. Rather than go for it or attempt a long field goal, New York took a delay of game and punted. Giants fans should be a lot more upset about what happened next.

Washington took over at their own 10 after the punt. Taylor Heinicke was sacked for an 8-yard loss on first down. The Giants used one of their two overtime timeouts after that play to stop the clock with 1:28 remaining. Brian Robinson rushed for 8 yards on the next play and fumbled the ball out of bounds, which stopped the clock with 1:23 remaining. Even with the clock stopped, Daboll burned his second timeout.

The decision proved to be costly. Washington called a run play on 3rd-and-10 and picked up 5 yards. That set the Giants up to get the ball back with good field position needing only a field goal for the win. The problem, of course, is that they had no timeouts left and could not stop the clock. New York took over with just 28 seconds remaining.

Daniel Jones completed two passes to get the ball to the Washington 40. The Giants then had to attempt a 58-yard field goal, and Graham Gano’s kick came up short. His longest field goal heading in that direction was only 52 yards in warmups, which probably helps explain why Daboll made the decision to punt rather than attempt a 62-yarder earlier in OT.

If Daboll did not use his second timeout with the clock stopped, the Giants could have gotten the ball back with over 1 minute remaining. That would have given them a much better chance to position themselves for an easier field goal.

Daboll will definitely have to explain why he used that second timeout when he did. It’s possible that the Giants were out of position defensively, but that timeout was extremely valuable given the situation. It will be interesting to see if Daboll admits his mistake like the last coach who botched a late-game situation.

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