Best and worst moments from the Redskins’ 23-10
loss to win over the New York Giants in the Meadowlands.
Best Quote: “There is just no stopping this Washington offense,” Joe Buck said at some point in the second half. What team is this? What world is this?
Worst Quote: “We know the Redskins are not a better team than us. If we played them 100 times, they might win five,” Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle said after Washington’s Week One win. Bad odds on winning two-of-two.
Best Starting 11: The Redskins offense hasn’t often looked better in the Shanahan Era than it did during much of Sunday’s game, even if the final yardage numbers weren’t awe-inspiring. And here’s the starting 11 that at one point scored on four of five drives: Smith, Hurt, Montgomery, Chester, Polumbus, Moss, Paulsen, Gaffney, Young, Helu, Grossman. The Skins’ much-hyped two best players on offense — Fred Davis and Trent Williams — have sat out two of the offense’s highest-scoring games of the season.
Best Commitment to the Run: I know, I know, I know, it’s easier to run the ball when you’re winning. But even at halftime, when the Redskins hadn’t yet thought about milking the clock, the offense had 22 running plays and 17 passing plays. That’s a ratio that seems to make sense to a lot of us. As @granthpaulsen noted, Roy Helu has now gotten at least 20 carries for four games in a row, the first time a Redskins back has done that since Clinton Portis midway through the 2008 season.
Best Streak Ending:The Redskins hadn’t swept the Giants in the regular-season since 1999, the last time Washington won an NFC East title.
Worst Streaks: Now and forever, it’s the turnovers. The Redskins have turned the ball over at least once in 28 straight games, the longest streak in the NFL. Also, Grossman himself has turned the ball over at least once in 16 straight games. This year, he has 22 turnovers in the 11 games he’s started.
Best Lead: The Redskins went up 20 points early in the fourth quarter. That was their largest lead of the season.
Worst Drops: Hakeem Nicks flubbed a sure touchdown for the Giants late in the first quarter. Later in the half, he dropped a perfect pass for a would-be first down. In the fourth quarter, another possible touchdown went through his hands.
Best Catches: Perhaps the three best catches of the day were made by Redskins defensive backs, with Oshiomogho Atogwe diving for a deflected interception in the second quarter, DeAngelo Hall reeling in an over-the-shoulder left-handed grab in the third quarter, and Josh Wilson dancing in the corner of the end zone in the fourth. Redskins defensive backs entered the day with six interceptions for the season, and had three more on Sunday.
Worst Challenge: Tom Coughlin might as well have doused his timeout in lighter fluid and burned it at the 50-yard line instead of spending a challenge on Atogwe’s interception. It was not even remotely close to not being an interception. Fox reported that Coughlin is now 3-for-10 in challenges this season.
Best Half: The Redskins dominated the first quarter, allowing just 29 yards, one first down and zero completions to a Giants offense attempting a playoff sprint. They kept the domination up through halftime, when they had racked up 20:24 time-of-possession to the Giants’ 9:34. At the half, New York had four punts, and seven completed passes. Also, Washington was 5-of-8 on third-down conversions, while the Giants were oh-fer-four.
Best Stat, Part I: Brian Orakpo finally got an NFC East sack; he now has 1.5 career sacks in 17 games against NFC East opponents, and 25 sacks in 28 non-divisional games. Rookie Ryan Kerrigan, meanwhile, has 2.0 career sacks in 5 games against NFC East opponents (Via @granthpaulsen and @MikeJonesWaPo.)
Best Stat, Part II: Stephen Bowen’s third-quarter sack of Eli Manning gave the defensive lineman six on the year. He had 5.5 sacks in his 63 NFL games before arriving in Washington. (Via @ESPNRadio980)
Best Stat, Part III: The Redskins did not punt through the first three quarters Sunday. Their drives went like this: interception, field goal, interception, touchdown, touchdown, downs, field goal, field goal.
Best Stat, Part IV: The Redskins’s season point differential vs. the Giants is now plus-27. In their other 12 games, it’s minus-75. (Via @barrysvrluga)
Worst Stat, Part I: The Redskins are 5-9 for the sixth time in 10 seasons. They’ve turned those 5-9 starts into finishes of 5-11, 6-10 and 7-9. None of them are great.
Worst Stat, Part II: The Redskins are 2-6 this season in games LaRon Landry started. They’re 3-3 in games he missed.
Best Strategy: Rex Grossman seems to have just about two interceptions every game, and averages exactly two turnovers a game. So 106.7 The Fan host Rocky Parish has been advocating for weeks that Grossman intentionally throw two first-quarter picks to get them out of his system, and then do the Good Rex stuff for the next three quarters. Sunday, he finally followed that strategy, and it worked perfectly.
Best News: Before Sunday’s game, no Redskins players were injured during warmups, no Redskins players were suspended for drug use, and no Redskins players were seen BASE jumping off Manhattan skyscrapers. Progress!
Worst Trick Play: After the trickeration led to a touchdown (and NFL RedZone’s score of the week) last week, the Redskins were at it again on Sunday, opening up with a fleaflicker. In which the receiver wasn’t really super open, and the ball was underthrown, and the Giants intercepted. it. The game plan also featured end arounds, pitch-outs to wide receivers, and various other bits of chicanery and tomfoolery.
Best Fullback Run: Darrel Young’s weird six-yard touchdown run — the first touchdown run of his NFL career — was so well disguised that a Giants defender actually touched Young without trying to tackle him due to confusion. Young entered the game with five career carries; he had four on Sunday.
Best Arm Punter: At least it’s cool when Grossman’s interceptions come on bombs — there was a 49-yarder and a 53-yarder just in the first quarter on Sunday. Sure, they’re first-down arm punts, but it’s all about field position sometimes. And, as one wag pointed out on Twitter, those first-half arm punts save Sav Rocca’s leg strength for the crucial second half, though he only needed to bust it out twice.
Worst Performance: The Giants committed eight penalties, missed a short field goal, dropped easy catches, had an awful challenge, failed to recover a fumble with a four-to-one advantage of men-in-the-area, turned the ball over three times and generally looked unlike a playoff team. The NFC East should forfeit its slot this season.
Best Pessimism: Here’s a Skins fan tweet, from @chrismottram: “So not only are the Skins hurting their draft position, but they're also helping Dallas into the playoffs.” He was joking. It’s all true. But Sunday was fun to watch.