October 1, 2020

Washington Redskins Game 11: New York Giants Five Takeaways

The Washington Redskins entered Sunday’s game with the New York Giants with several issues on the line. First and foremost, a win would lift the Redskins into first place in the NFC East, tied with the Giants at 5-6 but ahead on tiebreakers. The Skins also came in winners of four straight in the friendly confines of FedEx Field. However, the Redskins have had trouble with the Giants in particular in recent years, having not won against their division foe since Dec. 3, 2012.

Kirk Cousins threw for 302 yards, hooking up with DeSean Jackson for a 63-yard touchdown, Alfred Morris enjoyed his best day in a while with 78 yards on 23 carries and the Redskins knocked off the Giants 20-14 to vault into the lead of the moribund NFC East in the process.

The Redskins defense gave up 321 yards passing to Eli Manning, and Odell Beckham Jr. had 142 yards on nine catches, including a spectacular one-handed diving catch to make it a one-score game late, but limited the G-Men to 33 yards rushing and picked off Manning thrice as they bounced back from the thrashing they took at the hands of Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers last week to insinuate themselves into playoff talk in the NFC.

With that, here are five more takeaways from the Redskins win over the Giants: 

1. Coming of age? 

Sure, they still have a losing record. Sure, there are still a lot of problems in the secondary and lines. And Kirk Cousins still hasn’t won a road game since Reagan was president. But hey, let’s look at this from the bright side. The Washington Redskins will hold a playoff position in December, something no one expected to write at the start of the season except for the most zealot. With a favorable schedule the rest of the way out, one can envision the Skins ending up at .500, which could certainly win this crummy division. If they split against Dallas, beat the Bills at home and pick off a road win at either Chicago or Philly, we could be looking at a “Washington Redskins, 2015 NFC East Champs” banner at FedEx.

2. Cousins the caretaker.

Kirk Cousins played a typical Cousins home game. He was 20 of 29 for 302 yards and the long touchdown to Jackson and — the crucial point — no interceptions. It’s remarkable how this guy can play like a credible NFL starter at home, but become the second coming of Tony Banks on the road (look it up, kids). By the way, how big an addition to this offense is Jackson? Teams know he’s the Skins only deep threat and he still simply runs past people.

3. Reed giveth, Reed taketh away.

Jordan Reed is one of the Redskins best offensive playmakers. He’s also one of its biggest problems. He caught eight passes on nine targets for 98 yards this week, continually moving the chains and being Cousins’ most consistent target. And his 20-yard reception on the last possession was beyond huge keeping the ball away from Manning. But he had three penalties, two holding, to tie Morgan Moses as the most penalized player on the team. It’s not enough to be good at one aspect and hurt the team elsewhere. The guy has to learn to keep his hands in when blocking.

4. Morris back in the house.

The veteran was made for days like this — hard-nosed NFC football. That concept might be a distant memory more than actual fact these days, but Morris got the hard yards today (no carries longer than nine yards) as the team (read: Jay Gruden) made a more consistent effort to get him the ball. The first down run on the last possession was huge, and a reminder that Morris’ best football might not be behind him. Well, in the life of an NFL running back, it might be. But he can still contribute when given the chance.

5. 21

The last week of November every year channels the memories of Sean Taylor on the anniversary of his way-too-early death. On Sunday, the secondary tried to give a fitting tribute, picking off Manning three times, including one by former wide receiver turned DB Quinton Dunbar in the end zone. Add in Perry Riley Jr.‘s first quarter tip-drill pick and Will Blackmon‘s thievery and the defense had a pretty good day stifling Manning until the fourth quarter, registering its first three-interception game since Oct. 27, 2013 in Denver. It’s true, the offense couldn’t score following the early picks, and ODB got his, but they definitely quashed any momentum the Giants tried to generate in the first half.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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