By Anthony Strait
It started with a drop pass on a sure touchdown by Hakeem Nicks. It continued with yet another touchdown thanks to blown coverage by the secondary. Then the turnover prone Eli Manning of 2010 made an appearance. As the day ended, the New York Giants momentum and 1st place standing in the NFC East vanished with a 23-10 loss to the Washington Redskins that was as ugly as could be. With the Dallas Cowboys winning Saturday night, New York falls a game behind with two weeks left in the season.
Even though they can still win out and win the division, this team looks nothing like a team who deserves to be in the playoffs.
“I’m very disappointed in how we played today,” Coach Tom Coughlin said after the game.
“I accept responsibility for it. But I expected to see more — quality execution — and we didn’t get that.”
The near 80,000 Giants fans would agree with Coughlin in expecting a better effort with so much on the line in what was essentially a must-win game. The GMEN looked emotionally flat from the start. Even as Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman threw interceptions on the first two possessions of the game, the Giants couldn’t do anything with the opportunity.
It didn’t help when Manning found a wide open Nicks down field as he got behind the coverage-only to have the ball bounce off his facemask and out of his hands for an incompletion. Clearly that would be a bad sign of a forgettable afternoon.
Leading 3-0, the Redskins faced a 3rd down and 17 near midfield when Grossman complete an underneath pass to Donte Stallworth. Antrel Rolle had a chance to make the tackle but failed to do so and Stallworth picked up 16 yards. The Redskins converted on 4th down and a few plays later Grossman hit Santana Moss on a 20-yard touchdown pass on what looked once again to be miscommunication within the Giants secondary for a 10-0 lead in the 2nd quarter.
And that was as close as the Giants would get. Manning and the offense continued to struggle, as the self-described elite qb got picked off by Oshiomogho Atogwe, who returned it to 26 yards to the Giants 41. The Redskins finished off the drive with a Darrel Young 6-yard touchdown run on a play where Jason Pierre-Paul had him wrapped up only to let him go not realizing he had the ball. Washington held a shocking 17-3 halftime lead.
“I didn’t see the passion in us today,” running back Brandon Jacobs said. “We didn’t play well. We disappointed each other and our fans, and we’ve just got to play better. I can’t tell you why.”
The second half was more of the same when Manning was intercepted by DeAngelo Hall, who returned it 26 yards. Graham Gano added a 43-yard field goal to make it 20-3. The defense was overpowered and could not get off the field as Washington held the ball for 35 minutes and converted 8 for 15 on third down conversions.
The Giants attempted to rally but a missed field goal by Lawrence Tynes and Manning’s third interception of the game thanks in large part to miscommunication with Mario Manningham all but ensured that for the third straight season the Giants suffer an unimaginable loss that hurt their playoff hopes. In 2009, they were blown out by Carolina in the final home game at the old Giants Stadium. Last season it was the epic collapse against Philadelphia followed by a blowout loss to the eventual champions Packers.
“I still have confidence,” Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck said. “We laid an egg today, but I’ve seen us rebound from things like this a lot of times. There’s no quit in our guys. This was kind of an eye-opener. We have to keep the intensity going the whole game, and we didn’t maintain it today.
Manning finished with 247 yards passing but with three interceptions as a garbage touchdown run by Ahmad Bradshaw was the only Giants touchdown of the game. Rex Grossman rebounded from two early interceptions to throw for 185 yards and a touchdown. The Giants were dominated in a game they needed to win against an inferior opponent who just completed a season sweep for the first time since 1999.
The Giants next game is a “road” game against the Jets, who were also throttled on Sunday by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants can still win their next two games to make the playoffs but all they have proven is that they are a team of talkers who haven’t backed up the tough talk.
Possibly Related Posts:
- High Highs and Low Lows for New York Football
- Giants Starting to Look Like Jets
- New York Hit By Two Hurricanes: Sandy and the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Mensch of the Week: Eli Manning, Jeremy Lin, Joe Torre, & Others
- CC Sabathia Not The First Victim Of Things Flying Out Of His Butt