Giants takeaways from Sunday's 31-19 win over Commanders, including Saquon Barkley's big second half

After a couple of bad losses, the Giants came out on top in a competitive game this week against the team who lead the league in one-score games.

Tommy DeVito's touchdown passes to Saquon Barkley and Darius Slayton helped the Giants to a 14-3 lead, although a late Sam Howell run reduced the score to 14-9 at the half.

The Commanders cut the lead to two, before Barkley's second touchdown catch of the day made it 21-12 early in the fourth quarter. After Washington pulled back within five, the Giants iced the game on Isaiah Simmons' last minute pick-six.

New York forced six turnovers as they recovered three fumbles and intercepted Howell twice. Nick McCloud had an interception and a forced fumble and Bobby Okereke forced two fumbles.

The Giants moved the ball quite well through the air with DeVito passing for 246 yards and three touchdowns, but also gave up nine sacks.

Here are the key takeaways...

- The Giants led 14-9 at the half which was actually a higher score than the final score between these teams last month. New York won the previous meeting 14-7, having led 14-0 at the half.

- With the Commanders having traded away their two starting pass rushers since the last time these teams met, the Giants clearly planned for DeVito to sit back in the pocket and survey the field more than he has in previous games. He had some success doing this but held the ball too long and was sacked several times in the first half. At one stage he had completed 6-of-7 passes but also been sacked five times.

- The Commanders' plan was clearly to make DeVito beat them as this was not the first time Barkley has had a slow start running into stacked boxes. He had six carries for minus-two yards at the half. Once again, he got going late with a 36-yard run on the final play of the third quarter. Prior to that snap, the Commanders had 145 rushing yards and the Giants had 0.

- Although he had a slow start on the ground, Barkley was a key weapon in the passing game with two touchdowns and another downfield catch. He ended up with 140 yards on 18 touches.

- Despite their new-found confidence in DeVito and the early running game struggles, the Giants still ran it a couple of times on third down and were stopped each time.

- Slayton was having a big game with 82 yards and a score on four catches in the first half, including a 40-yard catch and run. However, a potential fifth catch was ripped away from him and he hurt his arm on the play and didn't return.

- Howell's touchdown run right before halftime got Washington back in the game and featured some bad tackling from the Giants. There was chaos after the play, though, with Commanders receiver Curtis Samuel ejected after making contact with an official in a scuffle involving both teams.

- Kayvon Thibodeaux stepped up with two sacks coming off two quiet games against the Raiders and Cowboys. He's been a bright spot this year and is now into double figures with 10.5 on the year.


What's next

The Giants return home to host the struggling New England Patriots on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 1:00 p.m.