Don’t go coronating RGIII just yet. Sure, he and and the Redskins held off the Giants last night to stay alive in the NFC East race, but they did so by only one point, escaping a potential season-ending loss in the process.
We’re not saying the Redskins got lucky. But they did get some help from the Giants.
The Giants played out of their skin. They were not themselves. They were not the team that emasculated the Green Bay Packers with precision and might last week. They were a sloppy, slow rendition of the group that usually does not beat themselves.
Nine penalties? That’s not them. The ones on special teams especially hurt. They Giants were practically starting every drive in the opposite red zone.
In the early part of the fourth quarter, David Wilson ran a kickoff back to midfield. The play was called back for a hold on reserve center Jim Cordle. Instead of first and ten on the 49, they started the drive on their own 8. Three plays later and a sack of Eli, they punted.
Another killer: On 3rd and 10 from their own 43 with 4:42 remaining, Eli hit TE Martellus Bennett for an 11 yard gain and a first down. It was negated by a holding penalty by OT Will Beatty. Instead of 1st and 10 on the Washington 46, the Giants were faced with a 3rd and 20 from their own 33. They punted two plays later.
Missed opportunities in the passing game? Eli and his receivers usually hit on more than one deep ball. There was a 49-yard pass play to Victor Cruz, but there could have been more. Last night, they were a sliver off in their long game, which is their bread and butter. They connect on one more of those (which they usually do), they win.
“I thought there were some good throws,” Manning said. “I thought I moved around the pocket and extended some plays and had some good things. I had some missed throws also. Early on, I had Hakeem on a go-route that was a little underthrown. I overthrew [wide receiver] Victor [Cruz] down the seam. In the third quarter, I had a shot to hit Hakeem near the goal line in an in-route that I put it a little out in front. I thought there were a lot of good things and good throws. I thought we missed a few opportunities though.”
A missed FG? Tynes is money inside 45 yards. He missed a 43 yarder due to a bad snap. He hits that, they probably win.
The rush defense was porous. They couldn’t make the stops when they needed. We know that. Yet, the margin of victory was only one point.
Their run defense will not face anywhere near the challenge they faced last night. New Orleans is 27th in the league in rushing. Atlanta, 28th. Baltimore has Ray Rice, but they are only 23rd. Philadelphia, the Giants’ Week 17 opponent is ninth. But will that even come into play with what is going on down there?
Bottom line…..they Giants played a off-kilter game against a red-hot team on the road and could have won. Going forward, they just need to tighten up in some areas and keep plugging. In the end, they should be fine.