Mike Shanahan finally has his signature win.
The Redskins' 23-10 win over the Giants in MetLife Stadium was both dominant and scrappy. By the middle of the first quarter Rex Grossman had thrown two interceptions yet by the middle of the fourth the Redskins' commanding lead had almost completely emptied out the stadium. Roy Helu did not come close to posting his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game as he gained 53 yards, but the Redskins still dominated time of possession 35 minutes to 25.
It was the second NFC East road win for Shanahan's Redskins. They won in Philadelphia last year but that game was all about Donovan McNabb's return to Philly. Besides that, the Redskins jumped to an early lead in that game and had to survive a last-second Hail Mary pass to hang on to win.
In this game they imposed their will on New York. After the two Grossman interceptions the Washington defense forced a three and out each time. The Redskins took a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter and they never looked back. Josh Wilson shut off any chance that Eli Mannong might have had to pull off one of his patented fourth quarter comebacks with an end zone interception.
That was the play that stopped the booing In the Meadowlands and sent the fan filing silently to the exits.
It wasn't a perfect game from the Redskins, far from it. There were the interceptions. The Giants dropped two passes that would have been touchdowns while the game was still competitive. And settling for field goals thee times instead of continuing the drives into the end zone would have been nice.
Most of all, it would have been much better if this was a game that had boosted the Redskins playoff chances instead of just damaging those of the Giants. But that six-game losing streak that spanned most of October and November elininated that possibility.
So, for now, this will have to do. The win was a sing of progress, the losses that preceded it a sign that a lot still needs to be done.