Much like last week, the Redskins turned the ball over early, but not because of aggressive play call down the field. Instead, it came via a breakdown in protection that led to a sack-fumble. The defense had a stellar stand, yielding two yard, but the Vikings were already in field goal range.
Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell doesn’t miss those: 3-0.
Running back Evan Royster has been a capable replacement for Roy Helu in the running game, gaining 24 yards on five carries. He looks strong to the hole and fast through it, but he isn’t quite the weapon so far in the passing game. On a downfield pass attempt midway through the quarter, there was some sort of miscommunication between Royster and Rex Grossman. On the play, Grossman went long with the pass and Royster curled back in.
Not sure who misread who, but it was a mistake that didn’t hurt the team. Hopefully that good luck will continue while they work out the kinks–the offense needs these two players to produce.
The Redskins top player in the first quarter was cornerback Josh Wilson, who has been playing out of his mind the last two weeks. Wilson has three tackles in the first quarter, a decent game statistic for him position. He has also stopped, slowed and prevented plays that could have potentially broken for big gainers.
Redskins trailing early with the Viking driving: Washington 0, Minnesota 3.
Tags: 2011 season, evan royster, first quarter, josh wilson, minnesota vikings, rex grossman, roy helu, washington redskins
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It’s hard to believe that only a few short weeks ago, the Redskins media was considering the possibility of a 3-13 finish. It’s even crazier to consider that this team was once sitting at 3-1.
With each win and loss, the media has micro-analyzed the direction of this team, and we’re left with power rankings that reflect whatever the current mood may be. In the final analysis, whether the team is on high at No. 10 or a bleak No. 29, it’s probably only a short-term placement.
After last week’s road win over the first-place Giants, most analysts see the Redskins on the rise, and are projecting the possibilities of a six or seven-win season. However, there are still one of two experts that were more impressed with their near-miss against the Patriots, than the actual win in New York.
I guess you can’t please everyone.
Here’s your holiday buffet of NFL power rankings: Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, nfl power ranking, washington redskins, Week 16
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When the Redskins beat the Giants in Week 1, the result was a share of first place in the division. The team was healthy, the rookies were contributing in a limited role, and there was a lot of reason for what-if speculation.
When the rematch occurred three months later, the Redskins were eliminated from playoff contention and playing for respect–something that no one wanted to give to them. Of the starting 11 on offense from Week 1, only five took the field on the starting drive. Those rookies that had contributed sparingly in round one were now starters, and some of the third string and practice squad players were seeing quality minutes.
In the end, the difference yesterday was not in the players’ resolve, or the preparation and game plan of the team. The difference was actually in the results.
In the hostile environment of a division-leading team, the Redskins played their best all-around football game of the season, jumping out to a 17-0 lead and never looking back.
The offense registered the team’s largest lead of the season at 20 points, when the score was 23-3. They were able to run the ball when they wanted to, throw the ball when they needed to, and control the clock for 35 minutes, nearly two and one-half minutes longer than Week 1.
On defense, they held Eli Manning without a completion in the first quarter for the first time in his career. He was intercepted three times by the Redskins for the first time in 15 career games.
Given the length of time between the two games this season, the Giants are the ideal measuring stick for the Redskins’ progress. As nose tackle Barry Cofield told his teammates after the game, that is the way that this team is capable of playing every week.
With two games left, the Redskins need to prove that to themselves, and find ways to win in the last two weeks of the season. At 2-12, the Vikings represent the first team that the Redskins have played with an inferior record since the Miami Dolphins in Week 10. With three weeks left in the 2011 season, it’s not too late for statements, and it’s the perfect time to put together a winning streak.
Here are the statistical highlights from yesterday’s win: Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, barry cofield, Brian Orakpo, graham gano, new york giants, ryan kerrigan, stephen bowen, washington redskins, Willie smith
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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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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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