A devastating loss to an otherwise perfect season at home against the Jaguars has hopefully brought the Redskins back down to earth. The Redskins have traveled north to face the NY Giants and to hopefully further their lead in the NFC East. The high powered Giants' offense will look to take advantage of an ailing Redskins' defense that blew a significant lead in the 2nd half of last week's game.
Giantsí running back Tiki Barber set out to make a statement with his first carry of the game. Gaining 8 yards on his initial carry, he set the team up for an easy 3rd and short; but after being stuffed on his second attempt, you could tell that the Skins' defense was having none of that. On 3rd down with two yards to go, Toomer appears to catch a pass to convert. Joe Gibbs tosses the ref flag as he sees the ball skip into the receiver's hands, and wins his first challenge of the game. The Giants are forced to punt.
Joe Gibbs and his Washington Redskins look to come out with the same tenacity as last week, but this time to see it through to the end. However, it appears that the Giants, the home crowd, and the Zebras feel differently. On the Skins 1st offensive play of the game, Joe Gibbs is forced to challenge another play. Portis breaks off an 8 yard run, and the ball comes out after his elbow hits the ground. After some debate, the refs call it a fumble; however, Gibbs' challenge is successful. The Skins eventually stall on the drive and are forced to punt.
From their 45 yard line, Derrick Frost punts a nice ball which is returned by Morton for a short period of time. When Morton fumbles from a drilling by Khary Campbell, the Redskins' offense gets another chance. Demetric Evans is penciled in as having recovered the fumble.
With the ball at the Giants' 30 yard line, the Skins are put into a 3rd and long by the Giants' defense. When the refs arenít calling plays correctly they arenít calling them at all! Santana Moss was completely stopped in his tracks by Arrington before the ball arrived and pass interference was not called. Forced into a 3rd and long situation, the Redskins go to the shotgun formation. Brunell is flushed from the pocket and scrambles to the left eyeing his 5 WRís. The 5 WR set is too talented for a mediocre Giants' secondary, and Brunell eyes an open David Patten. Cutting across the middle into the end-zone, Brunell hits Patten in stride just out of reach of a diving Will Demps who gets both feet in-bounds, but Ö the refs call it differently. Ruling that the receiver was out of bounds, Gibbs is forced to challenge and wins his 3rd challenge of the 1st quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, RW McQuarters downs it in the end-zone to set the Giants up at the 20 yard line. Decent field position doesnít prevent Eli Manning from delivering a present to the Mr. Sean Taylor in the form of an interception on his very first throw of the drive. On a 7-step drop, Eli looks right then left to an open Amani Toomer, who was open until Sean Taylor dropped down in front of the pass and intercepted it. Sean is taken down by Tiki after a 10 yard return.
Again with great field, the Redskins' offense is in prime position to increase their score. Clinton Portis runs the ball for 18 yards to the 8 yard line after two attempts. Portis consistently runs behind Thomas and Jansen to get to the 2 yard line where Brunell incites an encroachment penalty on the Giants. Clinton takes it in for 6 on the next play, and Hall provides the extra point.
With their backs to the wall, the Giants step in and regain a bit of momentum. If it was not for Eli being able to convert on third down time after time, this drive would have ended at the beginning. Toomer lights up the Skins' defense after being picked off initially and proves to be a favorite target of Eli's. The Giants make it into the red zone and down to the goal-line where Sean Taylor prevents a TD. As Lemar Marshall lunges at Tiki, he is stiff-armed into the ground, but an alert Sean Taylor plows Barber into the ground before he can even bring his arm back into his body and off of Marshall. However, this just holds off the inevitable as Tiki fakes Lemar into biting and jukes into the end-zone on the play.
Brandon Lloyd starts the drive with a dropped pass to convert on 2nd down, but Brunell is able to save the drive by throwing to S. Moss on third down. Clinton Portis takes the rest of the drive on his shoulders and runs for another TD. Lloyd then makes up for his earlier miscue to get the Skins close to the goal-line; this allows CP to get into the end-zone easily.
Tiki Barber finally gets hot towards the end of the half and gashes the Skins' defense for 7 points. Shutout the entire game thus far, on his 2nd run of the drive Barber breaks left for massive yardage going 70 yards for the score. Adam Archuleta takes a horrible angle on the TD run and not only takes himself out of the play but Marcus Washington as well. Marcus had been the only player in position to stop the big play.
With one minute left, the Skins are forced to punt before the half. Not being able to run the ball effectively due to two Antonio Pierce tackles behind the line of scrimmage produces bad results. Once the Giants received possession, they receive another gift by the refs when Burress only had one foot inbounds but was granted the completion. Rocky McIntosh drops a sure INT in the end-zone to cause the Giants to kick a FG.
Trying to come out in the 2nd half with a bit of spunk almost causes the Skins to punt. With the shotgun formation not working well for 3 straight downs, the Skins convert and come back to their senses. CP is given the rock to pound and that he does. He gets in for the TD after a nice swing pass and Cooley's blocking gets him to the 1, where he is able to scoot in for the score.
Losing two yards here and there doesnít make up for Tikiís 70+ yard scamper, and they surely donít help when Eli consistently converts on 3rd and long. Tiki keeps the Skins on pins and needles as he keeps almost breaking out for big gains. The Giants juggernaut their way down the field for a TD and run a play for 2 points. Now itís a 3-point game. This game has become a shoot-out, and it will be up to the Skins' offense to keep up.
The Skins' offense runs out gas while trying to run down the block. With 4 minutes left, Brunell fails to complete a dump-off to CP, who is overthrown. The Skins come out and try to run down the clock as much as they can with 4 minutes left, but fail to complete on 3rd and 7 to CP. Brunell over-throws him and heís wide open after breakdowns in protections deteriorate earlier plays.
Utilizing quick slants, Eli Manning is able to move the ball downfield quickly. On 1st and 10 from midfield, the Skins' defense comes back to life. Your playmakers take control of do-or-die situations, and thatís what Sean Taylor does. Refusing to die and willing to do what is needed, Sean Taylor reads Eliís eyes and picks off another pass intended for Toomer at its highest point. With 44 seconds left on the clock, the crowd begins to leave, as does Sean Taylor, who drops the ball on the field and walks to the sideline like a professional.