But the game nearly ended with Alex Smith leading a comeback. Unfortunately for Smith and Washington, those chances died when he threw high to running back J.D. McKissic at the New York 44-yard line, and the ball tipped off his hands and into Giants safety Jabrill Peppers‘ hands late in the game. On the next possession, Smith threw his third pick of the game.
After Allen was carted off the field following his injury in the first quarter, Smith completed 24 of 32 passes for 325 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Washington fell to 2-6 and took a severe hit in its quest to be relevant in the NFC East race.
Washington trailed 10-0 when Allen was hurt, having dug a hole thanks to two first-quarter turnovers leading to all of New York’s points. Smith’s first two drives did not go well, though the first was stymied because of three penalties inside the red zone.
But Smith was effective in relief. He completed 17 of his first 20 passes for a touchdown and an interception. The latter occurred when the receiver slipped and fell as the ball was being released with Washington at the Giants’ 18-yard line.
While Smith might not move as well as he had in the past, he was able to operate within the pocket and escape when necessary. On a third-and-2 late in the game, Smith spun out of the pocket and scrambled to his left, then, with pressure in his face, slid back to his right and connected with McKissic for a 5-yard gain. However, under pressure in the fourth, Smith scrambled back and tried to stretch high to throw to McKissic, but instead, the ball found Peppers.
He also was aggressive throwing downfield — in part because it was available and also because Washington trailed by 17 in the first half. In the fourth quarter, on a first down, Smith threw into a tight window for receiver Terry McLaurin, who collided with Giants corner Isaac Yiadom but bounced off and raced to the end zone for a 68-yard score.
Smith also looked far more comfortable than in his first outing this season, when he relieved an injured Allen in a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, played in pouring rain, Smith completed 9 of 17 passes for 37 yards and was sacked six times.
If Smith starts Sunday at the Detroit Lions, it would be his first since start his 2018 injury.
Washington’s defense didn’t help much, either, as it allowed New York to rush for 168 yards.
Allen was on the field for several minutes and had to be lifted off the ground, with his lower left leg in an air cast, and onto the cart. He waved to the crowd as he headed into the tunnel. He was later officially ruled out with a left ankle injury.
Peppers blitzed on the first-down play from the Giants’ 31-yard line and leg-whipped Allen, hitting him in the left leg. Peppers was called for a 15-yard penalty on the play.
Smith replaced Allen with Dwayne Haskins inactive as the third quarterback. Smith broke his right tibia and fibula two years ago, almost to the day, and was elevated to the No. 2 role for the Week 5 game against the Rams after Haskins was benched.
Allen was starting his fourth game in place of the benched Haskins. In his first three starts, Allen completed 68.8% of his passes with four touchdowns and one interception. Sunday, he had completed 5 of 7 passes for 62 yards before getting hurt.