LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Tommy DeVito got his chicken parm sandwich, then he got his first NFL win.
The undrafted rookie quarterback threw three touchdown passes to help the New York Giants beat the Washington Commanders 31-19 on Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak. Making just his second pro start after injuries to Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor, he was 18 of 26 for 246 yards and avoided turning the ball over.
“It means a lot,” DeVito said. “I think it means a lot for the team. Not the season we wanted thus far. To get the result that we wanted in the end, it means a lot.”
DeVito, a 25-year-old still living in his family's house in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, was the smiling recipient of a free chicken parm sandwich from a local deli earlier in the week. It might have to become a weekly tradition after his performance in Washington.
With DeVito running the offense, the Giants matched their season high with 31 points — the last of which came from Isaiah Simmons' 54-yard interception return for a touchdown — and won for the first time since Oct. 22, also against the Commanders.
“Winning is good, losing is not,” coach Brian Daboll said. “(DeVito is) improving. Did a lot of good things. Did some stuff we’ll correct. He gave us a chance.”
DeVito obviously got some help from his defense, which forced six turnovers, the Giants' most in a game since 2014. Nick McCloud forced a fumble and picked off Sam Howell for his first career interception, and Darnay Holmes made it back-to-back games with an interception.
“Get the ball five times, (including) one on special teams, that’s hard to do in this league,” Daboll said.
It's also hard to win rushing for no yards in the first half and giving up nine sacks, but the Giants did just that.
Commanders coach Ron Rivera lamented shutting down New York's ground game for two-plus quarters before allowing Saquon Barkley to rip off a 36-yard run, and DeVito also found Barkley for two TD passes.
As for the sacks, DeVito took some of the blame and also pointed out he has some experience taking big hits from his college days at Illinois.
“I got beat up a little bit when I was in college, so I’ve kind of been in some similar positions like that before,” he said. “That’s part of the quarterback position. I’m going to continue to trust in those guys. I’m sure some of them are on me.”
But so were some of the big plays, including a 40-yard TD toss to Darius Slayton, who was somehow left wide open down the sideline. Slayton was ruled out early in the second half with a right arm injury.
DeVito took the sacks and kept getting up and completing passes. Beating the Commanders should only grow DeVito's tale as football's latest underdog, the third-stringer who's in the spotlight and could start again next week against the New England Patriots.
“They love you one week, hate you another,” DeVito said. “I know how it goes. The past two weeks, it’s been all bad, and then today I’m sure it’s good. It just depends on the week.”
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