Among the halftime adjustments the Redskins made Monday night was the decision to turn loose Rob Jackson and allow the linebacker to focus more on pressuring Eli Manning, who had faced little, if any, pass rush in the first half.
“We needed some more pass rush than we had earlier and we really had confidence that he could get that done,” Coach Mike Shanahan said of the decision Tuesday. “He showed us that he could get that done.”
Jackson rewarded the coaching staff for its confidence in him early in the fourth quarter. Moments after Pierre Garçon’s eight-yard touchdown reception put the Redskins ahead 17-16, Jackson, a fourth-year pro, helped the home team seized control on the Giants’ ensuing possession.
With the visitors facing a pivotal third and four at their own 14, Jackson split running back Ahmad Bradshaw and tackle Will Beatty and sacked Manning, forcing the Giants to punt, igniting the crowd and swinging the game’s momentum toward the Redskins.
“He gave some great effort,” Shanahan added. “He was possessed to put some pressure on the quarterback.”
The sack was Jackson’s second of the season. It also helped the Redskins’ get defense get off the field after it allowed the Giants to convert 8 of 10 third downs in the first half.
“I though he did a good job in the running game as well as the passing game,” Shanahan said. “My hat’s off to him as well; he played with the type of desire ... to make some plays when we needed it the most.”