A day after displaying resilience en route to their 28-14 victory over the New York Giants, even the most team-oriented and veteran of Washington Redskins came away from Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants saying the game would’ve been a loss for the 2010 squad.
There were times during the game on Sunday where you got the feeling of, ‘Oh, I’ve seen this movie before.’
The team would sputter on offense and punt, and the defense would come out and give up a big play.
Or, there was a missed opportunity – say, a missed field goal or a fumble – that usually results in a positive development for the opposing team and ultimately would cost the Redskins the game.
“When something bad happens and you’re in the game [last year], it was ‘Oh, here it is. When’s it going to happen? Oh, there, we missed a field goal, oh there goes the turnover.’” Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “I think last year had we given up that turnover toward the end of the game, that would’ve easily turned into a touchdown instead of blocking the field goal and reversing the momentum on them. … Last year every game was coming down to the wire and going into the overtime or going into the two-minute drill.”
But unlike last year – and many futile seasons before – the Redskins didn’t crumble on Sunday.
The Giants scored, and Washington came back to move within scoring position. The Redskins missed the field goal, but the defense stepped up and kept New York from capitalizing. The Giants took another lead, and Washington answered right back.
Late in the second half, Rex Grossman fumbled, giving the Giants the ball at Washington’s 27-yard line. The defense held again, and Brian Orakpo blocked a field goal attempt. The offense then responded by marching 70 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.
“I think there was definitely a couple points where we could’ve shifted momentum [to the Giants],” tight end Chris Cooley said. “We had a sack, we fumbled, they take it down for a field goal and for us to get a block there was huge. There were a lot of plays where we got in the huddle as an offense and said, ‘This is our time, let’s take this game over.’
“The mindset is there to keep the momentum on our side,” he continued. “There was never any down moments in the game. I think a couple drives we didn’t go down and score, but the guys still were confident in the huddle and there was no shift in momentum.”
Said Alexander: “This game, early on we had a lot of adversity and I think we would’ve lost that game last year. Having a lot of new guys, and some guys that have brought a winning tradition from other teams, they expect and you expect to do [better]. Yesterday we did that as far as getting hit in the mouth early and giving up a couple big plays on defense.
“Second half, we pretty much shut them down and played much better. The mindset is different.”