Giants hammer Redskins for key win
This was how the New York Giants played when they were starting
5-0, back when they looked like a solid Super Bowl contender.
The dominant version of the Giants showed itself again Monday
night, only this time as a desperate team clinging to its playoff
The Giants controlled every facet of the game in a 45-12 rout
that wasn’t as close as even that margin of victory would indicate,
embarrassing a Washington Redskins coach and team that failed
miserably in an attempt to make a good first impression for its new
“We felt we can play at that caliber that we were playing at
the beginning of the year,” said Ahmad Bradshaw, who ran for two
first-half touchdowns. “We came out fired up. This was a must-win.
I told everybody before we went out: ‘I need the whole team to come
with us.’ And that’s how we played – together.”
The Giants (8-6) don’t control their destiny, but they moved
one game behind Dallas and Green Bay in the race for wild-card
spots with two weeks remaining in the regular season. A loss would
have left New York with only the faintest of postseason hopes.
“We were the team that had more at stake, obviously – and
played that way,” New York coach Tom Coughlin said. “We always talk
about being the team that demonstrates greater purpose. And we
In theory, the Redskins (4-10) should have had a great
purpose – a desire to put on a good show for Bruce Allen, hired on
Thursday in a major front office shake-up. Instead, they did a good
job of showing Allen that maybe everyone ought to be fired.
“You’ve got a new boss to impress,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall
said. “This is an audition. These last couple of games is an
audition. Bruce Allen pretty much got a head start on evaluating
talent. If he looks at what he saw today, he’ll scrap this whole
Redskins coach Jim Zorn didn’t do much to help whatever slim
chances he had of returning next season. Defensive tackle Albert
Haynesworth sounded ready to cast a vote for someone else.
“I don’t think really this team is that bad. The players
ain’t that bad,” said Haynesworth, who drew a personal foul for
throwing a haymaker at Brandon Jacobs in the fourth quarter. “The
score, the record, (they) say that we’re horrible, that we don’t
know how to play football. But I’ve been around these guys a lot
and I think they know how to play football. I think we’re just all
going in different directions, and we need somebody to lead us in
the right direction.”
Eli Manning played seven possessions before taking an early
seat in the fourth quarter. New York scored on six of them. He
completed 19 of 26 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. His
26 scoring passes this season are a career high.
The Giants marched downfield at will to take a 24-0 halftime
lead. At one point in the second quarter, they held a 226 to
minus-2 advantage in total yards, a 16-0 dominance in first downs,
and the time of possession gap was roughly 21 minutes to 4 1/2. The
Redskins went three-and-out on their first three possessions,
finally got a first down on the fourth, then tried to pull a
ridiculous-looking fake field goal on the fifth – a play that
produced a Giants interception to end the half.
Even when the Redskins scored their first touchdown – with
the game already out of reach in the third quarter – the Giants
blocked the extra point.
The Giants defense, with its habit of giving up big plays,
had largely been the culprit as the team lost six of eight games to
waste the 5-0 start. The unit was stout, however, against the
Redskins – even with defensive backs Corey Webster and Aaron Ross
inactive with injuries.
“They came out ready, and played awesome,” Manning said.
“They kept giving us the ball and we kept going down and scoring.
We just set the mood for the night very early.”
Terrell Thomas got his fifth interception of the season and
turned it into his first NFL touchdown with a 14-yard runback. Osi
Umenyiora temporarily forced Jason Campbell out of the game late in
the first half with one of five sacks by five players. Campbell
sprained a shoulder on the play but returned to start the second
Bradshaw had touchdown runs of 3 and 4 yards and was greeted
both times with snowballs thrown from the stands. The Redskins had
to remove an estimated 25 million pounds of snow from the stadium
and their parking lots just so the game could be played two days
after a historic East Coast storm.
The Giants took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards in 16
plays. The second drive was 63 yards in 11 plays.
The holes were there even though the offensive line was a
patchwork job. Right tackle Kareem McKenzie missed the game with a
left knee injury, so rookie Will Beatty got the start. Left guard
Rich Seubert limped off with a right knee injury after Bradshaw’s
first touchdown run; he was replaced by Kevin Boothe.
“We ascended tonight,” Coughlin said, “and we have to
continue to do that.”
Notes: The Giants converted their first seven
third-down plays and went 11 for 15 for the game. … Injuries: New
York WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring), Washington WR Devin Thomas