The Washington Football Team has capped off the 2021 season with a 22-7 win over the New York Giants. Here are three numbers to know from the Week 18 victory.
It's been 26 years since Washington has had a receiver record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, despite having talented players like Santana Moss, DeSean Jackson and several others. Against the Giants, Terry McLaurin ended that drought.
McLaurin finished the day with four catches for 93 yards, pushing him to 1,053 for the season. His 30-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter helped set up a field goal on Washington's opening drive, while a 40-yard reception put the offense in position to extend the team's lead to 15 points. Both grabs helped McLaurin average 23.3 yards per catch, which by far led all pass-catchers in the game.
Now with 3,090 yards in three seasons, McLaurin has added more evidence to why he is one of the league's most reliable young players.
"It's a blessing to be able to do that just once in the NFL, let alone twice," McLaurin said after the game. "I don't think I could really do that without the guys that are in the locker room, from the quarterbacks, to the O-line, to the other receivers. To be trusted to be the main guy is not as easy as it may sound, and you have to earn it every single day."
The Washington Football Team wraps up its 2021 season with a road matchup against the New York Giants. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)
There was a lot to like about Antonio Gibson’s performance against the Giants. He had a career-high 146 rushing yards, which helped him secure a 1,000-yard season, making him the first Washington player to do so since Adrian Peterson in 2018. As much as that speaks to Gibson's progress, his 18-yard touchdown showed how valuable the running back has been to the offense's success.
The fourth-quarter sprint, which gave Washington a 19-7 lead, marked the 21st touchdown of Gibson's career. That was enough to give him the most offensive scores within a player's first two seasons in franchise history. Gibson now has two consecutive seasons with 10-plus touchdowns, making him the first Washington player to do so since Stephen Davis in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
Gibson said when he was drafted that he viewed himself as a weapon, and he has routinely backed that up.
"I felt like I showed the patience," Gibson said. "I hit the hole hard. Got north and south. Not trying to run east and west and trying to make something happen that's not there. I feel like it's all coming together."
Washington's defense put together a solid end to the season after experiencing several ups and downs. It allowed 177 yards -- by far the fewest all season -- while the Giants could only manage converting 6-of-17 third down attempts. It showed up on the scoreboard, too, as the Giants were held to seven points.
It was the first time in more than 11 years Washington has held a team to just seven total points.
Much of that had to do with how Washington was able to make things difficult for Jake Fromm. He was held to 10 net passing yards in the first half, which was the fewest allowed in a game since the team allowed five net passing yards against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7 of the 2019 season.
Those struggles led to a turnover on downs and five straight punts from the Giants. The other factors at play were the three turnovers the Giants gave up in the second half, two of which came from Fromm. It was a career day for Bobby McCain, who had the first multi-interception game and touchdown of his career.