A six pack of observations on Redskins 17, Giants 16
—For the first time this year, the Redskins lost the turnover battle but won the game. The Giants did not put the ball on the ground and Eli Manning didn’t come close to throwing an interception. Washington turned it over on Alfred Morris’ fumble in the third quarter. The Redskins took the ball away more than they gave it away in each of their previous five wins this season.
—The Redskins did have more sacks than the Giants. The remarkable side of that equation is not that the Redskins got to Manning just once but that the Giants with Osi, Tuck, and JPP, didn’t sack Robert Griffin III at all. When the teams met in October New York got to Griffin three times.
—Other than the 49-yard pass that Eli Manning completed to Victor Cruz two plays after Alfred Morris’ fumble, the Giants had just 68 yards of total offense in the second half. Jim Haslett gets a lot of heat for halftime adjustments, or a lack thereof. But he pushed the right buttons at intermission, dialing up some more heat on Manning. The strategy didn’t result in a bunch of sacks, as noted. But it make Eli uncomfortable and it led to Rob Jackson drawing a key holding flag that negated a Giants’ first down in Redskins territory on what turned out to be their last possession.
—It was fun to watch Morris on both ends of his runs last night. After taking the handoff he cut decisively into the crease in the defense. And he finished his runs by picking up an extra two or three yards after contact, sometimes more. For the game, it added up to 124 yards on 22 carries. On the season it has added up to the best rookie season ever for a Redskins running back and we still have four games to go. As his college coach Howard Schnellenberger said, were there really 172 players better than him in this year’s draft?
—For the second week in a row, the Redskins opponent was penalized more often and for more yards than they were. New York was hit with nine flags for 73 yards while Washington had five for 56. Almost half of those penalty yards came on two highly questionable calls in the fourth quarter. Logan Paulsen was flagged for offensive pass interference even though he barely touched his defender on a second-down pass. That forced a punt and Madieu Williams got hit for a horse collar tackle even though the way he brought down Ahmad Bradshaw only very loosely fit the definition of that penalty. The Redskins survived nonetheless.
—One last one for the “Kyle gets too pass happy” crowd: The Redskins ran 31 times and passed 21 despite the fact that they trailed for a good chunk of the game. Shanahan calls what’s working.