Week 11: Giants
Stephen Davis did not show any signs of being hampered by the knee injury that kept him out of the last two games. Unfortunately, Steve Spurrier didn't show any signs of embracing a 'run-first' attitude either. The Redskins ran the ball only 21 times compared to 35 passing plays. SD had 59 yards on 19 carries.
Before criticizing Shane Matthews, he should be given credit for the 11-yard touchdown pass he threw to Rod Gardner. Matthews was under extreme pressure, yet put the pass in a spot amid about five defenders where only Gardner could catch it. That's about it for passing-game highlights, though. Matthews was off target on some passes and found no one open on others. He had one pass intercepted, and at least two others that should have been.
The Redskins were a curious mix of outstanding defensive plays and head-scratching breakdowns. The line got little or no pressure on Giants quarterback Kerry Collins. But Daryl Gardener had an outstanding play on a screen pass, getting into the flat and making a play on running back Tiki Barber. Jeremiah Trotter had a tough day trying to keep up with tight end Jeremy Shockey. Champ Bailey was solid, Fred Smoot average and Darrell Green's age is showing. Still, the defense gave up just 19 points, and had some very unfavorable field position situations to battle.
James Tuthill can't be blamed for slipping on the soggy Giants Stadium sod, but it was a costly slip, leading to a blocked field goal. Ladell Betts had an equally costly fumble on a kickoff return. Bryan Barker's punting improved from last week, but the coverage team had one breakdown, which led to a Giants field
This article was released on 2002-11-17.
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