The Redskins were forced into a three and out for the first time all game on their first drive of the second half. Sav Rocca’s 33-yard punt resulted in a fair catch by Rueben Randle at the New York 27-yard line.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning tried to capitalized immediately by going over the top to a wide open Victor Cruz. The pass was overthrown, however, and Washington dodged a bullet. A holding call two plays later set up a 3rd and 16 from the 21, but Stephen Bowen was called offsides. On 3rd and 11, Manning found Domenik Hixon for six yards, and it was the Giants this time who were forced to punt. Returner Brandon Banks took the wobbly, line-drive kick at the 24-yard line and returned it 12 yards, setting up a 1st and 10 at the Washington 36-yard line.
If Banks could’ve caught the punt in the air, he likely could’ve had a much better return. But the weird spin on the ball made it nose dive about five yards in front of Banks, and he took it off the bounce.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Griffin III ran out of the pocket and found tight end Logan Paulsen for a 23-yard gain. After an Alfred Morris two-yard run, Griffin III took off with the ball, gaining six yards and getting to the Giants’ 33-yard line. On 3rd and 2, Griffin III took the bootleg playaction play to his right and found Morris for a five-yard completion and the first down.
One play after a leg whip personal foul penalty on Tyler Polumbus, Griffin III handed off to Morris, who fumbled, which was recovered by Giants linebacker Michael Boley at their own 39-yard line. It was Morris’ first-career fumble, and though no fumbles really come at ideal times, this one really hurts for the Redskins, who were driving into Giants territory on the opening kickoff of the second half in a tied game.
The Giants tried not to let Redskins off the hook. Two plays into the ensuing drive, running back Ahmad Bradshaw rumbled for a 15-yard gain. Manning then found tight end Martellus Bennett open across the middle for a 17-yard gain. But two plays later, Manning overthrew Bennett, and the pass was intercepted by cornerback Josh Wilson at the nine-yard line, who returned it seven yards to the 16.
Phew. That one really could’ve stung if the Giants were able to get in the end zone — or at least get a field goal — after the Morris fumble. Perhaps Morris will be taking Wilson out for dinner this week?
This time, the Redskins tried to make the Giants pay for their mistake. On the first play of the drive, Griffin III found Hankerson for a 15-yard gain. Two plays later, the Redskins faced a 3rd and 2 from the 39-yard line when the Redskins ran a reverse end-around from Griffin III to receiver Aldrick Robinson, who glided to the left for a 14-yard gain and the first down.
But two plays later, Griffin III continued the third-quarter turnover theme by throwing an interception to the Giants’ Stevie Brown, who took it to the Washington 35-yard line.
The Giants got into the red zone with a 19-yard pass play from Manning to Hixon, and a Bradshaw six-yard carry got the ball to the nine-yard line as the third quarter expired.
What a sloppy third quarter. It could prove very costly for the Redskins.
CHIME IN: What did you think of the third quarter of action in today’s game? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 regular season, new york giants, washington redskins
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