As I have been accused of jinxing a lead in the past, I saved the posting of this 2-minute warning piece until the proverbial final whistle had been blown. Now I turn the game ball decision over to you, as you toast your team’s first sweep of the Giants since 1999:
Tags: 2011 season, most valuable player, new york giants, washington redskins
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Happy holidays, from Eli Manning, to the Redskins’ defensive backs.
That say it’s better to give than receive, and Manning gave three different Redskins takeaways. When three-quarters of the starting secondary has an interception in the game, it usually bodes well for the team as a whole. The Redskins offense capitalized with 10 points off of those turnovers.
For the fifth-consecutive week, the Redskins went over 300 yards of total offense, including 121 yards on the ground. Although this is the first week in four chances that Helu didn’t crack the century mark, it was the fourth consecutive start for the rookie, and the fourth consecutive week that the team had over 100 yards.
Helu is also proving that he can be a workhorse in the backfield, carrying the ball 20-plus times for the fourth consecutive week, the first time that a Redskins back has done that since Week 5-8 of the 2008 season (via @granthpaulsen). Since he’s been the starter, the team has shown a renewed commitment to the run, something that we haven’t seen since Tim Hightower’s success early in the season.
Altogether, there were more than 78,000 Giants faithful here at kickoff, with a very sparse sprinkling of Redskins fans. The trickle of fans into the parking lot started at the beginning of the fourth quarter and turned into a flood with seven minutes to go. In the waning moments of the fourth quarter, there were fewer than 10,000 fans remaining, most of them frozen to their seats or jumping around in jubilation.
This game was a opportunity for a Giants’ statement game, a chance to avenge a Week 1 loss and keep pace with the Cowboys for the division crown. Instead, it was the Redskins that made the statement, putting an exclamation point on the Week 1 victory. After a dismal middle of their season, the Redskins have clearly embraced the role of road warrior and spoiler down the stretch.
After the Week 1 victory, Giants safety Antrel Rolle stated that the Giants would beat the Redskins “95 times out of 100.” Earlier this week, he reiterated his theory, upping his ante to 99 times out of 100.
Good thing he covered himself and didn’t guarantee 100 out of 100, because then he would have been wrong. By giving the Redskins a 1 percent chance of victory, he saved himself from looking foolish on gameday.
There are a number of reasons why the Redskins lost six-straight earlier this season–some which are more obvious, and some which we will never know. But this team has had a different mentality over the last five weeks, finally rolling on all cylinders with the roster that they have available.
There have been growing pains and disappointments, but this is a team with talent and a team with heart. Showing up today and battling for the win was well-deserved and a job well-done.
That’s all from East Rutherford, as the Redskins come away with the win: Washington 23, New York Giants, 10.
Tags: 2011 season, fourth quarter, new york giants, roy helu, tim hightower, washington redskins
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Halftime is the enemy of any team with momentum, because they risk cooling off in the locker room.
But the Redskins are sizzling like fajitas in the second half, with DeAngelo Hall picking off Eli Manning on the second play from scrimmage. The interception was a one-handed beauty, good for Hall’s third pick of the year and 35th of his career.
This is only the second time all season that the Redskins have had two interceptions in a game, and the first time since Week 6 against the Eagles.
With the play, both opening drives of the respective halves ended quickly in turnovers. The difference is that the Redskins capitalized with points, as Graham Gano booted it through from 43 yards out. Washington back on top by 17: 20-3.
There’s a surreal sense of disappointment in the stadium right now. When the Giants are on defense, there’s no emotion, even on third down plays. Giants players are walking on and off the field, seemingly in a daze. The only thing anyone has shown excitment to do for the last 30 minutes of football, is boo, as they did half-heartedly at the end of the quarter.
The Redskins have assumed control through the first 45 minutes, and can begin transitioning into a clock-control offense. Through three quarters, the Redskins have leaned on the ground game, with 30-of-51 offensive plays coming via the rush.
After being punished with two deep interceptions in the first quarter, the Redskins aerial attack has embraced a short and mid-range game of safe passes and check-downs. With each catch and run, the Redskins move the chains and roll the clock.
Special kudos to kicker Graham Gano, who battled through a mid-season slump to establish a new career high with 25 field goals on the season. Nice work Graham, and his 11 points today have been another day of steady production for the once maligned Scotsman.
Redskins on top going into the final frame: 20-3.
Tags: 2011 season, DeAngelo Hall, graham gano, new york giants, third quarter, washington redskins
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It’s just another wild day in the NFC East.
In the opening moments of the second quarter, Santana Moss hurdled another Redskins milestone, catching his 37th Redskins touchdown for his career, and 56th over. He has now passed Ricky Sanders for sole possession of seventh place in Redskins history.
It’s only fitting that he does so in the city where his career started.
In the first 30 minutes of football, the Redskins have used five different ball carriers in the running game, using both active running backs, the fullback, and two wide receivers.
Anthony Armstrong’s 14-yard carry was a great combination of speed and vision, as a lesser man would have been tackled for a minimal gain. His two rushes this season–the first of his career–have gone for 19 yards.
Darrel Young’s six-yard burst to paydirt was the first rushing touchdown of his career. The Amityville, N.Y.-native was greeted in the north end zone by a chorus of 80,000 boo birds and appropriately inappropriate hand gestures, as he just nodded his head and smiled.
That 17-0 lead matched the Redskins’ largest lead of the season, dating back to Week 4 against the St. Louis Rams. There’s a lot of football left, but as I said before the game, the Redskins don’t have the look of a sacrificial lamb today. On the other hand, some members of the Giants’ 99 percent victorious team seem to have visions of January dancing in their heads.
On defense, the whole unit gets a pat on the back at halftime, but special consideration goes to free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who snagged his second interception of the year on a tipped ball by London Fletcher in coverage. This is the first takeaway for the ball-hawker since the Philadelphia game in Week 6, the 24th interception for his career.
Atogwe has certainly had a frustrating year with injuries, but has shown up in a big way this afternoon.\
Given the Redskins’ struggles in the second half, save the sigh of relief for the final gun. But there’s no question that this first half of football set the tone for the Redskins afternoon.
Redskins up at the half: Washington 17, New York 3.
Tags: 2011 season, anthony armstrong, Darrel Young, halftime, london fletcher, new york giants, oshiomogho atogwe, Santana Moss, washington redskins
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Shortly before kickoff, the Redskins won the toss and elected to receive. They did not, however, elect to drive the ball first.
On the first play from scrimmage at the 18-yard line, quarterback Rex Grossman hit cornerback Corey Webster way down the field on a failed flea flicker. Because of the subsequent Giants’ field position, it essentially amounted to a punt. After the defense held the Giants to zero yards, Giants actually did punt the ball, giving the Redskins the ball around the 25-yard line.
In a round about sort of way, the Redskins gained seven yards on that sequence. I don’t recommend putting that in the playbook though.
From there, the Redskins marched 52 yards down the field and Graham Gano banged one through from 36 yards. After another suffocating defensive effort, the Redskins had an early shot at momentum, but gave it back with another deep pick.
I can appreciate the aggression and creativity in the play call, but the results certainly weren’t what they were looking for.
If there’s anything fortuitous to be said about the interceptions, it’s that they were both deep down the field. The Redskins defense has smothered the Giants’ offense so far, but they need to get off the field.
One matchup to keep an eye on for the rest of the afternoon is undrafted left tackle Willie Smith vs. Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Smith hasn’t gotten beaten since Andre Carter in the first quarter of last week, and he looks good against the Giants 4-3 front. It’s difficult for some players to adjust to the 4-3 look after going against the 3-4 everyday in practice and most Sundays.
The Patriots aided in this preparation, as they run a base 4-3, but run plenty of packaged with only three down linemen. Smith, left guard Maurice Hurt, and right tackle Tyler Polumbus will look to continue their success week against one of the best front sevens in the NFC.
For the record, when Pierre-Paul sacked Grossman in the first quarter, it was a botched communication in protection. Not sure whose fault it was, but it wasn’t because Smith got beat.
Redskins looking physical and aggressive after the first quarter. Manning has zero completions in the first quarter (zero-for-six).
Washington on top early: Redskins 3, Giants 0.
Tags: 2011 season, first quarter, graham gano, new york giants, rex grossman, washington redskins
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For as beloved a figure as linebacker Sam Huff was and is in Redskins Nation, it cannot be forgotten that he got his start in the Big Apple, playing for the G-Men. Walking down the hall of the press box, I had to do a double take on the name and photo, which depicts the type of gritty player that he was, in his day.
Here are the additional pregame shots:
One thing I will say from warmup: if this is a Redskins team that’s destined to be clobbered, they don’t know it. As a group, this is one of the most focused groups I’ve observed during warmups and they seemed loose and cohesive. All signs point to a good showing today from the Burgundy and Gold.
Tags: 2011 season, new york giants, pregame, sam huff, washington redskins
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After Giants’ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul blocked Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey’s game-winner in Dallas last week, it was perceived that the Giants were on a roll, even though it was only their second win in the last five weeks.
Meanwhile, the Redskins–who have played probably their best three-game stretch of the season, despite going 1-2–have been largely overlooked. Going wire-to-wire with the Patriots was forgotten when New England held on for the win.
I’m not in the business of looking for a slight where there isn’t one, but only one brave NFL analyst is putting his name behind the Burgundy and Gold: ESPN’s Eric Allen.
In other ESPN news, the Madden ’12 simulation of today’s game calls for a comeback that comes up just short, falling 17-20. After back-to-back close losses, clearly the Redskins need to win today if they expect to earn respect.
Speaking of a Washington win, Redskins Nation will have followers in Big D today, as the Cowboys stand to benefit from a Giants loss. Although many of the Redskins veterans are disappointed not to be looking at the playoffs themselves this week, Santana Moss and Jammal Brown talked about relishing the opportunity to play spoiler down the stretch.
Even though it may be awkward and entirely unnatural to be helping the Cowboys, it’s a satisfying consolation to make their fans cheer for the Redskins today.
Curious what the players are thinking about before they run on the field? Pretty much the same things they’ve been thinking about all season.
We have a calendar check:
We have a weather update from the Miami, Fla. native:
We have some enthusiasm from a sugared-up returner:
And we have some excitement from a man who truly appreciates his given opportunity:
More from warmups to follow…
Tags: eric allen, ESPN, jammal brown, new york giants, Santana Moss, washington redskins
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This morning started off with an unexpected twist, as the team hotel’s fire alarm started going off just as people piled out of bed and into the shower. It also turned out to be one of the most polite fire alarms I had ever heard, first suggesting that the alarm had been triggered, and then that I might want to consider leaving.
I obliged, but only because the automated man was calm and asked so nicely.
For most of the team, this is the first trip to this stadium, and everyone’s first visit to the newly-coined MetLife naming rights. Given that the Giants don’t really have a mascot, per se, Snoopy will be the most recognizable mascot-esque feature at the game today.
I’m not sure what Snoopy has to do with the Giants, but then again, I’m not really sure what he has to do with life insurance either. I’m sure it all makes sense.
An interesting feature of the stadium is that it’s a behemoth structure that is very tall. Seems like an obvious statement, but the end result could spell shadow concerns for gametime. As we speak, the sun is still rising and the shadows stretch nearly to midfield: Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, MetLife stadium, new york giants, roy helu, washington redskins
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