Coming off of a tough loss to the Cowboys, the Giants are now basically entering playoff mode. They can’t afford to lose many more games if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. This is especially true this weekend, as they take on division rival, the red hot Washington Commanders. To get ready for this matchup, let’s take a look back at the Giants and Commanders 1997 meeting, that had a division title on the line.
The Giants and Commanders came into this one with just 1 victory separating the two teams. Washington stood at 7-6-1, whilst the Giants were 8-5-1. If the Giants won, they would clinch the NFC East and head to the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. The Giants would jump out to a 20-3 lead in the second quarter off a pair of Brad Daluiso field goals, a Charles Way touchdown run, and a Danny Kanell touchdown pass to Chris Calloway. Despite the lead, this game never quite felt like it was over due to turnovers. Kanell would throw 2 interceptions, allowing Washington to stick around. Despite the Giants woes, Washington was unable to ever really get back into the game due to their own SIX turnovers. Former Giant, Jeff Hosteler would throw 4 interceptions, Washington would muff a punt return, and the punter would drop a snap on a punt leading to 2 Giants fumble recoveries. The game stood at 23-10 after another late 4th quarter Daluiso field goal, before Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn picked off Hosteler and took it all the way to the house to give the Giants a 30-10 victory and the NFC East crown.
There isn’t quite as much at stake in Sunday’s matchup between the Giants and Commanders as there was back in 1997, but make no mistake about it, this is a must win game for both of these teams. With tough matchups to come down the stretch, the Giants cannot afford to lose this game. The Giants are getting some reinforcements, and will have had 10 days to prepare for the Commanders.
Like back in 1997, let’s knock off the Commanders, and end a playoff drought.
Highlights to this Classic:
(Photo: UPI ep/John Angelillo)