Instant analysis: Gotta hand it to Redskins

Instant analysis: Gotta hand it to Redskins
December 18, 2011, 8:49 pm
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Opinions and observations from the Redskins 23-10 win over the New York Giants Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

In a lost season, the Redskins had their most complete effort of the year. Each phase excelled, quarterback Rex Grossman overcame two early interceptions and the defense picked off Eli Manning three times.

The Giants should be ashamed of themselves. What a dreadful performance; it reminded me of the December 2007 game at the old stadium when they didnt show up.

The Redskins won in the Meadowlands for only the second time in 10 years, and the margin of victory was the largest since the 50-21 rout in 1999.

The second drive was bizarre in that it was all or nothing. The alls were a 15-yard pass to Jabar Gaffney, a 14-yard reverse run by Anthony Armstrong and a 19-yard pass to Donte Stallworth (on third-and-12). The nothings were plays of minus-2 yards, two no-gain completions and an incompletion. Graham Gano capped the drive with a 36-yard field goal to give the Redskins a 3-0 lead.

The Redskins got a big-time break when the Giants second drive ended on Hakeem Nicks dropped likely touchdown catch on a deep post pattern. Nicks got a step on cornerback Byron Westbrook and safety DeJon Gomes, but Mannings pass went off Nicks head inside the 20-yard line. It would have been a 54-yard touchdown.

Grossman was sacked in the first quarter by Jason Pierre-Paul when JPP was unblocked. Fullback Darrel Young was late reacting to the pass rush. Interesting protection call, though, since JPP was lined up over left tackle Willie Smith.

It wasnt a surprise coach Mike Shanahan decided to go for it on fourth-and-one late in the first quarter. Thats been his modus operandi throughout the season, and at 4-9, why not? Grossman threw 7 yards to Gaffney. A play before, Stallworth made a great play to gain 16 yards to allow Shanahan to make the decision.

The Redskins outgained New York, 99-29, in the first quarter. Manning was 0-for-6 passing in the opening 16 minutes.

Safety O.J. Atogwes second interception included two great plays. Downfield, linebacker London Fletcher broke up the pass intended for Danny Ware, and Atogwe made a diving catch of the reception before posting a 26-yard return.

Great individual effort to capitalize on Atogwes interception. On third-and-14 from the Giants 22, Gaffney caught Grossmans pass well short of the first down marker, but quickly spun outside to leave cornerback Prince Amukamara behind for a 16-yard gain.

New York punter Steve Weatherford consistently showed respect for Redskins returner Brandon Banks by kicking near or out of bounds.

Grossman gets the Toughness Award for standing in the pocket on a second-quarter, third-and-11 play to complete a 16-yard pass to Moss. Grossman was roughed on the play by Pierre-Paul, moving the Redskins again into New York territory.

Questionable play call on fourth-and-one from the Giants 32 with a minute-plus left in the first half. The Redskins went for it all long pass to Stallworth, giving New York good field position.

The Giants took advantage to get a gift field goal (40 yards by Lawrence Tynes) after driving 46 yards on five plays.

As usual, Lorenzo Alexander was all over the place on kickoff coverage, making at least three tackles.

DeAngelo Halls one-handed interception was one of the Redskins best defensive plays of the year. The Redskins turned that into a field goal to make it 20-3.

The Giants quickly moved down the field using the hurry-up offense trailing 23-3, but Wilson intercepted Manning in the end zone with 12:46 remaining. It was the Redskins first three-interception game this season.

It took nearly three years into his career, but Brian Orakpos fourth-quarter sack was his first against NFC East competition.

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