Going for two late vs. Giants wasn't a consideration for Rivera originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Rivera, however, did have an opportunity to make a late decision that would've produced a result one way or the other at MetLife Stadium. Going that route never entered his mind, however, he told reporters postgame.
After Taylor Heinicke connected with Jahan Dotson and Dotson sprinted and swirled into the end zone with one minute and 45 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to put Washington within one, Rivera could've opted to keep the offense on the field and go for two as opposed to kicking the equalizing extra point. The clock, though, dissuaded him.
"If it had been closer [to the end], 15 seconds or something like that, yes," Rivera said. "But not when there’s that much time."
Following Joey Slye's PAT, New York and Washington had a total of three more possessions in regulation; the hosts got the ball two more times while the visitors notched one more drive. Neither squad could generate points with those trips, nor could they in the 10-minute overtime period, meaning both were forced to process an unfulfilling finish.
"That was very hard," Rivera explained when describing the speech he gave to his team afterward. "I wasn’t quite sure what to say."
"I’ve never tied in my life," Heinicke said at the podium. "It’s a weird feeling."
Two years ago during his debut campaign as the club's coach, Rivera opted to go for two at the same stadium with a Kyle Allen-led offense.
In fact, the score when he went with the more aggressive choice was also 20-19, just like it was in Week 13. The time was a bit different — just 36 seconds were left — and Allen ended up throwing an incomplete pass, which led to a loss.
Judging whether Rivera's more conservative strategy this time around was the proper call will be hard until the end of the season when the NFC playoff picture is solidified. The tie may come in handy in what'll surely be a tight race, or it might be an extremely tough manner for the Commanders to miss out on more football.