30 yards of Washington penalties give New York perfect onside kick opportunity, they nail it
The Giants made the smart call going for the onside kick.
Washington got hit with a slew of penalties when several players yelled at officials after a controversial ruling on an RG3 non-touchdown. That was the last play of the first half, so the penalties were enforced on the first play of the second second half. That meant New York got to kick off from Washington’s 35-yard line to start the half. They did this:
In this situation, you have two options. You could send your kicker out to boot the ball out of the back of the end zone, which is child’s play for an NFL kicker, and which gives the other team the ball on the 20. Or you could do an onside kick, which gives you a decent chance of getting the ball, and worst case scenario gives the opponent the ball at the 25-yard line. Most of the time an onside kick comes with the downside of bad field position. Here it didn’t.
For their part, Washington was ready for this — they had their whole team between the 20 and 25-yard-lines — but the kick was perfectly executed. It pops up just right, and hit Washington in an area where there was only one player.
New York hit a field goal with the short field ahead of them to tie the game at 10. So this choice and execution could play a big role in the game.