Rivalry games frequently come down to one or two big plays that make the difference.
One of those plays is already in the books.
For the first five minutes of the game, the story line was about defense. Both teams were creating pressure with the front four and five, forcing both quarterbacks to unload wobbly check-down passes. But on 3rd-and-10, Giants quarterback stepped up in the pocket to avoid a blitzing Ryan Kerrigan, and had a wide-open Hakim Nicks down the field for a 68-yard bomb.
Cornerback Kevin Barnes and safety Reed Doughty got burned on the play, but a credit to them for not giving up on their responsibilities. The Giants skated into the endzone two plays later, but effort on plays like that, matter.
On the next Washington possession, quarterback Rex Grossman hit Tim Hightower for a 10-yard gain. This was Grossman’s 80th completed pass as a Redskin, and 600th career pass.
Pop the bubbly.
Special teams are yielding mixed results at the moment. Unfortunately, kicker Graham Gano started 2011 with more of what plagued him in 2010: a missed 39-yard field goal. Brandon Banks looks to be in mid-season form, giving the Redskins pretty good starting field position.
See you at the half.
Tags: brandon banks, eli manning, first quarter, graham gano, new york giants, washington redskins, week 1
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