Somehow, someway, the Redskins handled the New York Giants in Weeks 1 and 15, and piled up 463 yards in a Week 16, seven-point loss to New England.
What the heck happened in those games that made the Redskins competitive in a combined three contests against this weekends Super Bowl participants?
I took a look back at my notes and charts from those three games to provide a review.
First up is the 28-14 home win on Sept. 11 over the Giants.
The game-time temperature was a toasty 87 degrees at FedEx Field. The Giants were without Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Prince Amukamara.
Rex Grossmans first and probably only Week 1 start with the Redskins didnt start great. The offense went punt, punt and missed field goal and trailed 7-0 after Eli Manning took advantage of a blown coverage and connected with Hakeem Nicks for a 68-yard touchdown. (25 yards after the catch).
The Redskins first scoring drive of the year was 11 plays and 66 yards and happened despite a Jammal Brown holding penalty, which wiped out a first-down run by Tim Hightower. The march included a 23-yard pass to Fred Davis and was capped by a 1-yard TD run by Hightower.
The Redskins tied for a second time (14-all) on Grossmans 8-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Armstrong. The drive was a quick five plays and 80 yards, including a 39-yard pass to Jabar Gaffney. Armstrong would go two-and-a-half months before his next touchdown (at Seattle).
The turning point of the game came early in the third quarter. Ryan Kerrigan avoided Kareem McKenzies cut block, deflected Mannings pass and intercepted it for a 9-yard touchdown. Barry Cofield downplayed any talk, but he
The final touchdown came on a slick Grossman 4-yard pass to Gaffney.
Five Redskins starters on offense that day ended up on injured reservesuspended list: Hightower, Davis, Chris Cooley, Kory Lichtensteiger and Fred Davis. None played in the Giants re-match in mid-December. The Redskins took the lead for good.
The Giants had seven drives in the second half and scored zero points.
Filling in for LaRon Landry, safety Reed Doughty led the Redskins with 10 tackles.
The Redskins sacked Manning four sacks, including 1.5 by rookie nose tackle Chris Neild.
The Giants had only three plays of 20 or more yards and the Redskins had eight.
The Redskins played one of their most solid games 3-of-4 in the red zone and only three penalties.
Grossmans only turnover was saved by Brian Orakpos blocked field goal.
Grossman was 21-of-34 for 305 yards. On passes that traveled 10 or more yards, he was 8-of-19.
Hightower played 63 of 65 snaps.
The Giants were 1-of-10 on third down and eight of those attempts, they needed 7 or more yards for the first down.
Contact OHalloran at email@example.com