Opportunity Knocks and It’s the Redskins Who Answer

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

It was billed as a shootout. Instead, we got brawl. The Redskins and Giants played about as close a game as you could play for two teams with contrasting styles.

The scoreboard, unfortunately, reflected it accurately when the clock ran out: Redskins 17, Giants 16.

As they have done all too often in the past, the Giants (7-5) missed a golden opportunity to distance themselves from the rest of the division, losing a game they led at halftime for the first time in 27 games. Instead of being up two games on Dallas (6-6) and three on Washington (6-6), tonight they are only one game ahead of both with four games remaining.

Washington was just a sliver better tonight, slashing and pounding their way under, over and around the Giants on both sides of the ball. Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III was only 13/21 for 163 yards and a TD, but he made most of those completions stick in the Giants like daggers. He continued his almost flawless play by adding 72 yards rushing and committing no turnovers.

Even his one fumble was a winner. It was picked up by teammate Josh Morgan and run in for a TD, putting the Redskins up, 7-3, in the first half. Rookie RB Alfred Morris did the most damage, carrying the ball 22 times for 124 yards and breaking the Giants back, sustaining drives with big third down runs.

WR Pierre Garcon, who did not play in the first meeting, made his presence known with a 8-for-106 receiving performance that included the game-winning score in the fourth quarter.

Most of the game saw the Giants on offense. They held the ball for the better part of the first three quarters but could not finish drives. They got into the red zone only twice and scored both times: one FG and one TD.

The Giants were uncharacteristically sloppy, committing nine penalties. Most of them were costly, especially on special teams. The Giants started almost every drive deep in their own territory.

Giants Drive Chart
# OF
12:54 6:32 NYG 10 11 69 Field Goal
04:16 5:56 NYG 24 13 51 Missed FG
09:55 7:23 NYG 15 13 85 Touchdown
00:41 0:41 NYG 24 6 54 Field Goal
15:00 4:47 NYG 9 8 31 Punt
06:45 3:36 NYG 9 8 75 Field Goal
11:31 2:03 NYG 8 3 -1 Punt
06:06 2:15 NYG 20 5 17 Punt

A missed Lawrence Tynes’ FG ¬†from 43 yards out in the first half came back to haunt them. The snap was high, throwing off Tynes’ timing causing him to hook it.

Eli Manning (20/33, 280 yds and a TD) just missed on several long passes. One to Hakeem Nicks was thrown short. Another to Victor Cruz was too far. It just wasn’t their night for the big play.

Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 103 yards on 24 carries. Victor Cruz had five catches for 104 yards. TE Martellus Bennett had 82 yards receiving and the Giants’ only touchdown.

RT Sean Locklear left the game via cart in the second half. He is believed to have sustained a serious knee injury.