Tom Uddo, ContributorIt looked like the Giants were going to have one of those games. On their first drive of the game, the Washington Redskins picked apart the Giants defense, knocking more than 7 minutes off the clock and took an early 7-0 lead, with ease. By halftime, the score was tied at 14, but Robert Griffin III had completed 16 of 17 passes in the first half and it looked like Big Blue’s defense had finally given up on a season that is now purely based on pride.
Who knows what was said in visitor’s locker room, but whatever it was, it worked. The Giants defense, led by veteran Justin Tuck who bowed inside FedEx Field four times last night, took over in the second half and held Washington to just 96 yards in the remaining two quarters.
A clutch play by Will Hill to strip Pierre Garcon in the late minutes of the fourth quarter would seal a victory for the Giants, pushing their record to 5-7, two games behind the division leaders Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, while eliminating the Redskins from any chance of playoff contention.
Tuck would finish the game with a miraculous four sacks, and even with Jason Pierre-Paul, Corey Webster and Trumaine McBride on the sidelines, the Giants defense would prove to be relentless. Tuck supplied most of the pressure from the defensive line on RGIII that caused him to move out of the pocket and ultimately forced poor and inaccurate throws.
Cullen Jenkins would also get on the stat sheet with a sack, giving the Giants a total of five sacks on the night, a feat that they have struggled with all season.
Jon Beason had another strong game and finished with 17 tackles, while the defense held the Redskins ground attack, which ranked 1st in the NFL coming into this week, to 139 yards.
While the amount of yards might not be anything to point out as a positive, the defensive unit was able to hold Alfred Morris, who is having another stellar season at running back, to just 26 yards on 11 carries, with RGIII racking up a majority of the yards on the ground (88 yards). RGIII was able to find room on the outside due to broken plays, but luckily for the Giants, he has lost some of his speed and explosiveness after offseason knee surgery, or else he could’ve done more damage to the Giants defense.
While Beason would lead the team in tackles by a wide margin, Spencer Paysinger (8 tackles), Will Hill (7 tackles), Keith Rivers (7 tackles), and Antrel Rolle (7 tackles), would make big plays all game to limit the Washington attack.