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Giants' running backs force Redskins into mistakes

New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (27) easily outpaces the Redskins' defenders en route to a touchdown in the third quarter. {Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post}
New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (27) easily outpaces the Redskins' defenders en route to a touchdown in the third quarter. {Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post}

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By Rick Maese
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 5, 2010; 11:58 PM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan didn't need to wait for the first question at his postgame news conference.

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"We can't tackle that way," he said.

In the locker room, not a single Redskins player was about to argue with that blunt assertion.

In their 31-7 loss to the New York Giants Sunday, the Redskins showed a tackling style that consisted mostly of outstretched arms and idly swiping at a blur of blue laundry. The result was one of the Redskins' worst defensive outings against the run in recent years.

That much, players and coaches agreed upon. But explaining why the team struggled to tackle the Giants - particularly running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, who combined for 200 yards on 33 carries - wasn't as easy.

Was it the defensive line's fault?

"It wasn't a situation where the front line guys were missing," said linebacker London Fletcher.

So does blame fall on the linebackers' shoulders?

"I don't play other linebacker positions. I know I got containment outside," said second-year outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. "I don't know what else is going on."

What about the safeties - the duo of Kareem Moore and Reed Doughty, who seemed to spend much of the afternoon hugging air?

"You'd just like to know that if you miss, somebody else is going to come hit him right in the back," Doughty said. "You say, 'next play.' That wasn't happening."

When players gather at Redskins Park Monday to dissect film, they'll likely see that a lot of defensive players contributed to Sunday's tackling calamity. Giants running backs had no problem making their cuts, slipping through the second level and blowing up the team's last line of defense.


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