In need of a win before all of the New York City came crashing down on them like a deck of cards, the New York Giants found a way to hold off a late Redskins rally in a 32-21 victory over the hapless Washington franchise, Thursday night.
While the final score ended up being only 11 points, it wasn't indicative of the kind of game this way: a total Giants blowout. The Giants outplayed the Redskins all night long, and even if the Giants couldn't find the end zone, the Redskins did everything in their power to help the Giants out with three turnovers.
In fact the outcome of this game was decided in earnest in the opening quarter, when New York jumped out to a 12-0 lead. On Washington's opening possession of the ball game, Giants running back Rashad Jennings blocked a Redskins punt that went out of the back of the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 G-Men lead.
Later in the quarter Washington quarterback, Kirk Cousins was picked off by Prince Amukamara at the Redskins own 20-yard line. Four plays later the Giants found pay dirt on a Andre Williams 1-yard plunge to make it 9-0.
Even with a significant lead for most of the night, the Giants offense still struggled. Leading 12-3 in the second quarter, the Giants failed to convert a third and seven at the Redskins 18, forcing New York to settle for a field goal and a 15-3 lead. At the beginning of the third quarter, New York put together a 15-play, 50-yard drive that ate up half the quarter only to come away with three points, and a 18-6 lead.
Fortunately for the Giants, the Redskins kept shooting themselves in the foot. An interception and a fumble on Washington's next two possessions basically sealed the deal.
In the third quarter after Cousins was picked off for the second time, the Giants rammed the football down Washington's proverbial throat with some big time passes by Eli Manning. The quarterback hit Larry Donnell for 22-yards on second and 17 at the New York 48 to move the football to the Redskins 30. Next, the former Super Bowl MVP threw a bullet to Odell Beckham Jr. for a 30-yard touchdown strike, pushing the Giants to a 25-6 advantage.
Even with a 19-point advantage, the Giants STILL allowed things to get very interesting. The Redskins scored touchdowns on their next two possessions; one on a Kirk Cousins touchdown pass to Chris Thompson, the other coming on a 100-yard kick return by Rashad Ross. The only saving grace for the Giants was Manning's 41-yard touchdown to Rueben Randall in between the two Redskins scores that kept New York well ahead.
Manning threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants running attack left a lot to be desired on Thursday night, as the combination of Jennings, Williams and Shane Vereen rushed for only 84 combined yards.
The Giants defense did come to play. They held Matt Jones to only 38-yards rushing. Alfred Morris (six carries, 19-yards) was also ineffective. The unit also forced three turnovers, two of them interceptions of Cousins. It was a big coming out party for Giants linebacker Uani' Unga, who had nine tackles and a pick. The first year player out of BYU hit people with authority all night for Big Blue.
The Giants (1-2) now get to enjoy ten days off before their next clash in Week 4 against Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills on October 4.