Stat worth noting: Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. The Giants picked off Skins QB Jason Campbell twice and P Hunter Smith once, while committing nary a turnover of their own.
Stat worth noting II: The Giants were an amazing 11-of-15 on third-down conversions. Converting 73 percent of those situations often leads to easy victories.
Turning point: When Washington won the game-opening coin toss and opted to defer. The Giants took the ball and immediately put their collective foot on Washington’s throat. New York rolled to an Ahmad Bradshaw TD to cap a 16-play, 80-yard drive that stunned the Skins right out of the box.
Play to remember: Terrell Thomas will likely never have an easier one. Redskins QB Jason Campbell floated a pass in the flat that appeared at least to be intended for TE Fred Davis. Instead, Thomas grabbed the ball and pranced into the end zone with a 14-yard touchdown, which extended the Giants lead to 38-6.
Play to forget: What in the world was Jim Zorn thinking right before halftime? His club was down 24-0 and he calls for a fake field goal from the Giants 20 with only two seconds to play? Better yet, Tom Coughlin called a timeout after Washington switched from a conventional field goal formation to a swinging gate alignment, yet Zorn stuck to his guns. Aaron Rouse intercepted Skins punter Hunter Smith’s awful pass and returned it 49 yards to cap just a terrible play from Washington’s standpoint.
What went right
New York’s beloved pass rush returned just in time. The Giants front seven battered both Washington signal-callers seemingly all night long. Big Blue had five sacks of Jason Campbell and also hit Redskins QBs on a dozen other occasions.
Tom Coughlin loves nothing more than having his team come on the road and establish itself early. How about 13:34 of possession time in the first 15 minutes? New York scored one touchdown and set itself up for another during the opening period and never looked back.
The Giants scored 24 out of a possible 28 points in the green zone. No worries about any troubles inside the enemy 20-yard line in this one. The offense was crisp, decisive and effective when they got down near the Skins goal line.
The Redskins were flat-out flat. Jim Fassel always said it’s not who you play, but when you play them. The Giants got the Redskins, who had basically been playing everyone tough, at just the right time – when they were clearly not ready to play.
What went wrong
Eli Manning threw seven incompletions. Just joking, of course, but we do have space to fill here. Manning was spectacular, as he’s mostly been lately. Manning completed 19 passes for 268 yards and a trio of TDs; can’t ask for much more than his 144.4 QB rating on the evening.
The Cowboys upset the Saints, giving them their first loss of the season. In everyone’s ‘Giants make the playoffs’ scenario, a Dallas loss there was all but required. New York trails both Dallas and Green Bay for a playoff spot. As much as this was a must-win for the Giants, so too are New York’s final two games – vs. Carolina and in Minnesota.
We’re absolutely, positively officially nitpicking here, but New York’s much-maligned defense did surrender more than 300 yards. Just kidding, Coach Sheridan – nice job defense.
On the rare occasions when the Giants didn’t score on a play from scrimmage, it was because of Rocky McIntosh and London Fletcher. Washington’s two LBs combined for 19 tackles.
1 – Regular-season Giants games left in Giants Stadium history
9:13 – Length of New York’s game-opening touchdown drive
1968 – The last year the Giants scored as many points as they did against Washington
“Our backs were really against the wall this time, it was a must-win situation. We’re a lot better than we have played, we know that, everybody in the league knows that, and we just had to come out here and show it and we were able to do that today.” – Giants DE Osi Umenyiora
“They were pretty much on everything we were doing that first part of the game. Everyone was booing, but there was nothing open. There was nothing we could do about it. They were bringing the rush and you get hit.” – Redskins QB Jason Campbell