October 20, 2019

Washington Redskins Game 7 Review: Injuries, Turnovers Frustrate Redskins in 27-23 Loss to Giants

Despite Robert Griffin III’s fourth-quarter heroics and a stellar performance by Alfred Morris, early injuries and a cluster of ugly turnovers cost the Washington Redskins (3-4) their opportunity to notch a win against the New York Giants (5-2) Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

Sunday’s match-up marked the first NFC East Division game for the Burgundy and Gold this year – and boy, was it a wild one.

Griffin held his own against the defending Super Bowl Champions, completing 20 of 28 passes for 258 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He added another 89 yards over nine carries but the Redskins failed to capitalize on his top-notch performance in the second half.

From the very first play, it was clear that Sunday’s match-up would be one marred by injuries. On kickoff coverage, Redskins safety DeJon Gomes suffered a blow to the chest on a hit by Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich. Gomes was evaluated but later returned to the game.

Unfortunately for the Redskins, Gomes’s injury was only the beginning.

After a false start penalty on Giants offensive tackle Sean Locklear forced New York to punt, strong runs by Alfred Morris and a catch-and-carry by Logan Paulsen helped put Washington in the red zone. On second and 2 at the Giants’ second-yard line, tight end Fred Davis went down with an injury to his left Achilles tendon – an injury that could keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season. Entering into Sunday’s match-up against the Giants, Davis represented the Redskins’ number one receiver with 23 catches for 312 yards.

Afterwards, Griffin failed to complete a pass on third and 2, and the Redskins settled for the field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

The Giants answered on their next drive. After Eli Manning found Martellus Bennett for a 31-yard pass, tosses to Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw helped set up a quick pass to Andre Brown to put the Giants up 7-3. On the play, Reed Doughty found himself at the bottom of the touchdown pile and left the field with an apparent injury to his left leg.

But, as was evidenced throughout Sunday’s rollercoaster performance – what the Redskins’ defense giveth, Griffin and company often taketh away.

After Griffin lobbed one to Leonard Hankerson for 23 yards, Morris, Darrel Young, and Griffin himself scrambled to bring the Redskins to the Giants’ 26-yard line.  On a picture-perfect screen pass made possible by grade-A defense from Paulsen, Griffin tossed to Santana Moss for a 26-yard touchdown and the Redskins regained the lead, 10-7.

It would be a game of field goals for the remainder of the second quarter, however, as the Giants’ Lawrence Tynes centered a 27-yarder to tie it 10-10. Just over two minutes later, Kai Forbath responded with a 47-yarder to give the Redskins a 13-10 lead, but with only seconds remaining in the first half, Tynes responded again with a 39-yarder to tie it once more, 13-13.

Heading into the second half, the Redskins looked for a way to slow the Giants’ running game and better their performance on third downs.

The Redskins successfully shut down the Giants defense at the start of the third quarter and, at first and 10 from the Giants’ 28-yard line, Washington looked ready to strike first in the second half. However, as Morris ran the ball another 15 yards, offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus managed a costly leg whip penalty. On the next play, from the Giants’ 41-yard line, Morris fumbled the ball and the Giants’ Michael Boley scooped it up to regain possession.

The Giants brought the ball to the Redskins’ 26-yard line but, Manning threw an uncharacteristically off-balance pass intended for Victor Cruz which was intercepted by Josh Wilson.

In almost the same amount of time in which the Redskins managed a rally opportunity, they practically handed the ball back to the Giants as Griffing poorly timed a pass to a wide-open Paulsen and, instead, threw straight to the Giants’ Brown. This time, the Giants scored on the drive off a short toss to Bradshaw to make it 20-13 Giants.

Then – to put it simply – things got crazy.

Jason Pierre-Paul raced through the Redskins’ offensive line for a huge sack on Griffin which cost the Redskins 12 yards. Mike Shanahan then made the gutsy call to go for it on fourth and 2 from midfield and Griffin passed to Hankerson for nine yards. Another sack – this time by Osi Umenyiora – forced the Redskins to go for it again, on fourth and 1 from the Giants’ 30-yard line, and Griffin carried the ball himself just enough for a first down. However, the Redskins’ seemingly heroic comeback was short-lived as Griffin fumbled the ball, which the Giants picked up at their own 29-yard line.

But, it didn’t end there. Yet again, Eli Manning nearly gift-wrapped an opportunity for the Redskins who were in dire need of a rally with just over seven minutes left to play.

On the very first play following Griffin’s fumble, Manning’s pass intended for Nicks found its way right into the arms of the Redskins’ Rob Jackson. However, Alfred Morris and Niles Paul proved no match for the Giants’ defense on the drive and the Redskins wisely opted for the field goal on fourth and 5 to trim the Giants’ lead to 20-16.

After the Redskins forced the Giants to punt on their next drive,Griffinfound Santana Moss for a 30-yard touchdown pass to stun the Giants and regain the lead, 23-20.

Eli Manning, however, won the battle of the quarterbacks Sunday afternoon by rocketing a 77-yard touchdown pass to Cruz with just over 90 seconds left in the game, to put New York on top 27-23.

At first and 10 from the Redskins’ 32 with the game on the line, Moss managed to fumble the ball, and the Giants’ rookie Jayron Hosley recovered it to cap off a 27-23 win for the G-men.

 

 

Words of Wisdom from the Washington Redskins, RGIII’s Dad, and Tom Coughlin

There were several  gems from the Redskins’ media availability this week that illuminate the story of the Washington Redskins’ current offensive success better than a detailed breakdown of stats.

One of these comes from the man who led the team in both rushing and passing yards for that game–Robert Griffin III. He was asked this week about whether he prepares more for a division opponent, presumably in light of the upcoming game against the Giants, and he had this to say:

“I used to high jump back in the day, way back in the day. A couple years ago, my dad was telling me you jump the same way you jump at 6’8” that you do at 6’0”. Just because it’s at 6’0” it doesn’t mean you put less into it. So for me, you always keep your preparation the same way, whether it’s the Giants or anyone else.”

Charlie Sheen would call that a winning attitude. We call it awesome life advice. No wonder Griffin is succeeding by leaps and bounds and 76-yard touchdown runs in the NFL.

But don’t take our word for it.  New York Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin was asked about Griffin’s improvement since Week 1.

“He runs in the endzone, for crying out loud,” Coughlin began. “He’s got a better feel of what’s going on. He’s more acclimated to the game, to the circumstances, the situations. He’s playing outstanding, he’s not forcing anything.”

Aptly stated.

Griffin is now third in passer rating in the NFL, and leads the second-most prolific offense in the NFL in points (though they tie with the Giants for that distinction) — and the Redskins have done this without a wide receiver or tight end in the top 40 in the NFL in receiving yards.

But don’t try to label the magic.

“Every place I have been in, everybody says ‘What do you call this offense?’,” Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan told the media this week when asked about the team’s offensive identity. “Rick Reilly had asked and he wanted a name so I said, ‘Call it the East Coast Offense.’ I get tired of answering the question, to be honest with you. I’m not sure what the name of the offense is but we are just experimenting with what Robert can do and we are having fun with it. Hopefully we can keep executing.”

For a no-name offense, it sure is accomplishing pretty big things.

Redskins Rewind: Skins knock off Giants, dream “what if?”

Defensive lineman Stephen Bowen celebrates a sack of Eli Manning. (photo by Brian Murphy)

The Washington Redskins perhaps played their most complete game of the season Sunday, handily beating the New York Giants 23-10, knocking off their division rival for the second time this season and seriously wounding the Giants playoff aspirations, dropping them to 7-7.  The Giants must be wondering this morning how much better their playoff chances would be if they had been able to take care of business against the cellar-dwelling Redskins. [Read more…]

Grossman, Defense Lead Skins to Opening Win Over Giants

So far, go good. Throughout the off-season and into the pre-season the Washington Redskins found themselves in a quarterback competition between the veteran, Super Bowl tested Rex Grossman and under-utilized one-time college phenom John Beck.  Coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan waited until almost the last possible moment to name their starter, adding to the drama and suspense.For now, it looks like they made the right call.

Grossman threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns, Fred Davis had 105 yards receiving on five catches, and Tim Hightower rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown to lead the Redskins to an opening day 28-14 win over division rival New York Giants, before a paid crowd of 80,121 in refurbished FedEx Field.

[Read more…]

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