Better late than never, and better out of New Jersey than almost anywhere else. What is this, you ask? Why, it’s The Loser Papers, of course! This is where you come to read the other side of the story. There’s no love for the Redskins on these pages. Here you find out how the other team woulda, shoulda, coulda, if only… And you get it straight from the hometown newspapers of the most bitter losers. Today, you’ll hear from such famous crybaby’s as Sheli Womanning and Ol’ BJ. Anyhoo, let’s get right to the fun. Our first two stories come from the pages of The New York Post:
Eli Manning blinks last as Giants can’t beat Josh Norman
After all the flags and gaffes and mishaps and blocked punts and fake punts and turnovers and momentum swings and Odell Beckham Jr. going at Josh Norman and an overwrought Beckham on the sideline taking a swing at a kicking net, after all those Redskins field goals, one after another, the Giants had the ball, time to work with and Eli Manning in the huddle, needing to drive his team for a potential game-winning field goal and a wonderful start to the season.
There was 1:51 remaining, the Giants owned two timeouts and this wild and crazy affair was in the hands Manning, usually the coolest customer on the field.
“I said, ‘We’re going to win this game 30-29, we’re gonna win,’’ guard Justin Pugh said. “But we didn’t.’’
No, they didn’t. Manning hit Victor Cruz for 18 yards to get the Giants to their 39-yard line, but with 1:02, left Manning’s next pass was the last he got to throw. He looked short and over the middle for Shane Vereen but rookie safety Su’a Cravens stepped in front of the target and came away with a lunging interception. It was a fitting way for the Giants to absorb Sunday’s 29-27 loss at MetLife Stadium, as they were a mistake-prone and self-destructive outfit for much of the sun-splashed afternoon.
“Bad decision by me,’’ Manning said. “Should’ve gone onto my next progression. Guy made a good play and it was unfortunate.’’
Just like that, the Giants (2-1) failed to bury the Redskins (1-2) in an early-season showdown that brought out the worst in Ben McAdoo’s team as he was hit with his first head-coaching loss amid three more turnovers and an array of mistakes and penalties.
“Yeah, it’s disappointing,’’ McAdoo said. “Absolutely. We need to be better than that, and we are better than that. We’re going to address it this week and we’re going to fix it.’’
The much-ballyhooed Beckham-Norman battle royal started slowly, heated up early in the fourth quarter and really was about to percolate when it fizzled, as center Weston Richburg was called for his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty — he blocked Norman on Beckham’s 24-yard catch-and-run and then apparently mouthed off — leading to a shocking ejection, the first-ever in the NFL under the so-called Beckham Rule. At the time, the Redskins were leading 26-24 and a Giants drive reached the Washington 15 before Manning looked into the end zone for tight end Will Tye, who gave up on the play and the pass was intercepted by cornerback Quinton Dunbar.
Undeterred, the Giants should have been in business when rookie Romeo Okwara stormed in to block Tress Way’s punt that would have put them inside the Redskins’ 20-yard line. That block was nullified when rookie safety Andrew Adams, making his NFL debut, was called for a mindless roughing penalty. The Giants, after getting the ball on their own 30 on the second post, put a drive together and Josh Brown’s 30-yard field goal put them ahead 27-26 midway through the fourth quarter.
It was that type of game, in which the Giants canceled out much of what they did right with something so wrong. A roughing the passer penalty on Olivier Vernon helped the ’Skins grind away on the ground with Matt Jones to set up Dustin Hopkins for his fifth field goal for a 29-27 Redskins lead. A comeback was not to be after a three-turnover, 11-penalty performance.
“We got them on the ropes a few times and all the sudden we’re going backwards,’’ Manning said. “We got to play smarter football. We can’t afford to do that.’’
This was a wasteful outing for the Giants, who led 14-3 in the second quarter and appeared poised to take control — until they lost their poise.
“I feel like we should have won that game,’’ Pugh said. “If they weren’t playing for the Redskins, they probably feel like they should have lost that game, too. We hurt ourselves with turnovers, penalties, everything you can do to lose a game today we did.’’
Beckham ended with seven catches for 121 yards, with Norman on him most of the way. Beckham said he was warned by the officials before the game that his first indiscretion would prompt an immediate ejection, a harsh response to last year’s altercations with Norman.
“There was no, ‘You get a warning,’ ’’ Beckham said. “There was not any of that. You just have to be on your best behavior. Unfortunately, that’s what it’s come to. It’s not really football anymore as much as it is all the other things that play into it.’’
Beckham was called for one penalty — offensive pass interference on a pick play on a pass to Sterling Shepard on the final, fateful series. Norman was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty for hitting Shepard early in the fourth quarter.
Norman got the last laugh.
“It’s a big, I don’t want to say [a] step back,’’ linebacker Jonathan Casillas said, “but this is a hurting we got to overcome.’’
Giants’ kicked-out center accuses ref of targeting him
Weston Richburg didn’t pass the buck, but he didn’t exactly own his ejection, either.
The Giants center, the first player to get tossed under the NFL’s new double unsportsmanlike conduct rule, admitted, “I let my team down,” but also took a shot at umpire Undrey Walsh, saying, “The guy that threw [the flag] was after me.”
While backup Brett Jones performed well in place of Richburg, his fourth-quarter disqualification certainly didn’t help the Giants in their disappointing 29-27 loss to the Redskins at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. The new rule was implemented after Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, now with the Redskins, combined for five personal fouls in an ugly matchup last season.
“They were probably trying to cut down on things seeing what happened last year with that matchup,” the 25-year-old Richburg said. “But it’s on me. I can’t control how many flags they want to throw. I’ve got to be a leader and be in there for my team.”
Richburg said he apologized to his teammates after the defeat, and they didn’t seem too upset with him, as long as it doesn’t happen again.
“Weston knows we need him out there,” left guard Justin Pugh said. “He’s our center, one of the best centers in the NFL, we need him on the field. He’s gonna learn from it. He’s a young guy, that fine’s gonna come in and I know he won’t have that happen again.”
It was unclear what he was called for on the play in question, a 24-yard pass play to Beckham in which Richburg was down field and shoved Norman from behind. Richburg said there was no trash-talking with Norman involved, and said he wasn’t given a reason for the penalty.
“We didn’t have a very lengthy conversation about it,” Richburg said.
As for what he felt about it, Richburg said, “I can’t say anything about the call.”
His ejection hurt, but so did the penalty. The Giants would’ve had the ball at the Redskins 5-yard-line, trailing 26-24 with 14:03 remaining. Instead, the ball got moved back to the 20, and Eli Manning threw an interception two players later.
“I let my teammates down,” Richburg said. “I have to be a presence in there and be a leader and I let my team down.”
Without directly doing so, Richburg was at least implicating Walsh for making what he felt was an unnecessary call because of their dialogue during the game. It sounded like a contentious back and forth.
“I deal with him a lot because he is the umpire and spots the ball, so I am talking to him about calls and what not,” Richburg said. “But like I said, I just have to be that consistent presence for my team and today I made a mistake and let it pull me out of the game.”
And more fun from The New York Daily News:
WATCH: Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. throws fit, fights with kicking net and cries
It was only a matter of time before things heated up between Washington and the Giants. And you can bet Odell Beckham Jr. was right in the middle of it Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
The madness started with a wild sequence in the fourth quarter that featured a helmet-to-helmet hit from Washington cornerback Josh Norman — Beckham’s nemesis — and a subsequent ejection for Weston Richburg after the Giants center earned his second unsportsmanlike penalty. Eli Manning then threw an interception in the end zone, and Beckham wasn’t pleased.
The star Giants wide receiver walked to the sideline and swung his helmet against the kicking net.
The apparatus fell over and the metal beam drilled Beckham in the head.
Later, cameras caught Beckham with tears in his eyes on the sideline and Manning trying to calm him down.
Football is emotional, but this is a whole different level.
And, finally, from The New York Times:
‘Desperate’ Redskins Take Risks and Beat Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Odell Beckham Jr.’s bushy platinum curls posed a stark contrast to the deep red scratch still glimmering above the corner of his right eye socket Sunday evening, as he stood in the Giants’ locker room minutes after a hard-fought defeat.
The evidence was all there, written on his face: a bloody mark that could come to symbolize the bitter fight for an N.F.C. East division title this season.
It was hard to know whether the scratch had been made by a Washington Redskins defender or Beckham himself, when, in a fit of fourth-quarter rage, he swung his helmet at a kicking net and the crossbar collapsed and hit him in the face. In either case, the Giants (2-1) could not hide the physical and emotional toll from a 29-27 defeat they will surely come to rue.
“They did a good job clawing, scratching, fighting,” Beckham said, “doing anything they need to do to get the win.”
With opportunities to bury the Redskins (1-2) in the division, the Giants, at home on a crisp and sun-kissed afternoon, committed 11 penalties and three turnovers and failed to summon enough out of their revamped defense to stop Washington’s continuous offensive pressure.
“It’s like a trap game,” Robinson told them. “This team is desperate.”
But even staked to a 21-9 lead in the second quarter and clicking on offense for the first time all season, the Giants’ defense could not stem Washington’s attack. Two plays, both deep passes to DeSean Jackson, and — bang, bang — it was 21-16. The Redskins were not going down without a fight.
The officials had anticipated a spirited, chippy game. They tried to set a no-nonsense tone early. The Giants were called for five penalties in the first half, the Redskins four. But in the second half, the Giants seemed unable to bend to the officials’ tight calling of the game.
“Just too many self-inflicted mistakes that put us in bad positions,” quarterback Eli Manning said.
The biggest was the unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on center Weston Richburg after he appeared to have words with the Redskins’ Josh Norman early in the fourth quarter. Because it was his second such penalty of the game, Richburg was ejected.
“I let my teammates down,” Richburg said.
With the loss of Richburg, the team’s offense sputtered. Manning was intercepted at the goal line two plays later by Quinton Dunbar, who made the catch with one hand.
The heightened tensions were largely a response to the well-documented animus between Norman, a cornerback, and Beckham, who was suspended for a game last December after sparring with Norman, then with the Carolina Panthers.
On Sunday, Beckham said, the officials approached him before the game and gave him a stern warning: Any funny business, whatever the prompting, and he would be looking at a swift ejection.
“No warning, none of that,” Beckham said. “Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve come to.”
Beckham said he did not know if Norman had been similarly admonished. It seemed doubtful, especially when Beckham pretended to leap for a pass in the end zone early in the first quarter and Norman caught him in the air and carried him for several yards before dropping him to the turf. An official, standing right there, never threw a flag.
“It was kind of like, ‘Wow, geez, what am I doing?’” Norman said. “But at the same time, I appreciate the officials. They really did a good job of controlling the game.”
It was Beckham who ultimately lost his composure on the sideline. After Dunbar’s interception ruined a good Giants scoring chance, Beckham raged by the bench, cursing and yelling and, eventually, whacking himself with the kicking net. When asked how he had received the scratch on his face, Beckham said he did not know.
“It’s an emotional game,” Giants Coach Ben McAdoo said. “We had a talk with him at one point, and I think on the field, he handled himself well.”
The Redskins, though more disciplined, played like a team willing to do anything to avoid falling into an 0-3 hole.
They took risks, most notably on fourth and 12 late in the third quarter when the punter, Tress Way, lobbed a pass instead of a kick and connected with Dunbar down the sideline for a 31-yard gain.
That play, which ultimately yielded a field goal, represented how Washington’s offense kept coming at the Giants, refusing to allow any sense of security. After trailing by as much as 12, the Redskins took a lead, 23-21, five minutes into the third quarter when Jamison Crowder took a screen pass on third down and ran it 55 yards for a touchdown.
Field goals led to four more lead exchanges before the Giants found themselves down by two with 1 minute 51 seconds left and an opportunity to win. With two timeouts remaining, there was optimism in the Giants’ huddle.
“We’d been moving the ball well,” Manning said. “Felt we were in good shape.”
But on first and 10 from the Giants’ 39, Manning tried to find Shane Vereen cutting under the deep Redskins’ coverage, and safety Su’a Cravens made a spectacular diving interception to effectively end the game.