LANDOVER, Md. — Janoris Jenkins nearly saved the Giants’ Thanksgiving night, but he was hobbled on his pick-six, and so Kirk Cousins and Washington were able to put Jackrabbit back on their holiday menu.
Jenkins caught a Cousins pass tipped by running back Byron Marshall near the sideline and returned his second interception in as many games 53 yards for a touchdown at 2:52 of the third quarter to tie the game at 10 apiece.
“We were in a zone, the running back dropped the ball, and I just caught it,” Jenkins said of his second interception for a touchdown this season. “(You’ve got to) understand the importance of the ball in your hands. Just try to get the ball into the end zone any way possible.”
The only problem? Jenkins hurt his left ankle on the return as he was tackled into the end zone. He had a walking boot on his left foot after the game. So Jenkins returned, but then Cousins hit receiver Josh Doctson for a 14-yard TD pass with 3:31 left to play to beat Jenkins in one-on-one coverage and drop the Giants to 2-9 on the season.
“Oh, he didn’t beat me,” Jenkins said. “ I just couldn’t explode out of my break. Good play, just a good route.”
Janoris Jenkins couldn’t prevent Josh Doctson’s game-winning touchdown.
Jenkins’ interception tied him with Denver’s Aqib Talib for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns by active players, with seven. Unfortunately, on the other side, Ross Cockrell committed a deep pass interference penalty at the end of the first half to allow Washington to tie the snoozer game, 3-3, at half.
Then on Washington’s go-ahead drive, Cockrell committed a critical holding penalty that gave up a first down and then was beaten by the star of the game, Washington receiver Jamison Crowder, for a 17-yard gain to set up Doctson’s score.
Cockrell started because McAdoo made corner Eli Apple a surprise healthy scratch for a second straight game.
Apple had been inactive for last Sunday’s home win over the Chiefs only a few days after his mom had undergone successful brain surgery. And Apple had missed two practice days, Thursday and Friday, to be with his mother. He was not expected to sit on Thursday but McAdoo said it was not a disciplinary measure, citing lack of proper preparation time as the reason.