Rapid Reaction: Giants-Redskins

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Did someone forget to remind the Giants that they needed to win the game today if they wanted to keep the division lead and stay in complete control of their own destiny? After last week’s emotional and crucial win against the Cowboys that put them up half a game in the division, New York looked as if they weren’t even aware they had to play today. Both sides of the ball looked flat and emotionless in the entire game. There was no sense of urgency or passion and it was painful to watch.

Keep in mind that even with this horrendous loss, the Giants are still in contention for the NFC East division title, hard as that may be to believe. They will have to win both of their remaining games against the Jets and Cowboys if they want to play postseason football, and they’re going to have to come out full force and show the world that they deserve to be a playoff team.

Thoughts from the game:

-I think this game really showed how much the Giants have depended on the passing game to carry them through most of the season. Their struggles on defense and the lack of spark in the running game have been well-documented but they’ve still been able to pull out enough wins to compete for the division title. The passing game and fourth quarter comebacks have fueled four out of their seven wins of the year. So if they’re a non-factor, like today, and the Giants can’t depend on the running game or defense to give them a chance to win, the result isn’t pretty.

-Getting Prince Amukamara about halfway through the season was more than welcome to a Giants secondary that’s struggled and been injury plagued. I was worried about him seeing more snaps than a first-year cornerback normally would, but he’d exceeded my expectations coming into this game. Today was the first time he really looked like a rookie. Hopefully we can write it off as some growing pains because he was constantly out of position and getting beaten by Washington’s receivers.

-Coughlin challenge slump continues. He’s three for 10 on the season, with seven straight lost challenges. And this is a coach who had won about half of the challenges throughout his career, better than any other head coach in the league. A few of them have probably been desperation challenges but something must be off this year.

-I absolutely loved the way Henry Hynoski put his head down and muscled his way to get the first down when Manning threw to him for the first time. I’m really enjoying having him on the Giants.

-How can this offensive line that, even with all the injuries and formations, manage to hold the fort so well against Demarcus Ware and company last week and then go and give up three sacks to the Redskins? Manning did not have enough time to throw today and forced a number of throws, which can at least partially account for his struggles.

-Speaking of which, I’m sure the Eli Manning doubters will be out in full force after today’s horrendous showing. But two of those interceptions weren’t really his fault (one was just an excellent play by the secondary on a tipped ball, the other was a blown route by Mario Manningham). A few dropped balls by the wide receivers didn’t help either. This was just an overall horrendous showing by the entire team and the loss can’t be placed on a single player’s shoulders.

That being said, those interceptions were deadly. Not being able to take advantage of either of Rex Grossman’s two picks didn’t help matters either.

-Let’s hope Devin Thomas and Jake Ballard’s injuries aren’t too serious. Thomas is a solid special teams guy and Ballard has been clutch for the Giants when needed. Honestly, don’t they have enough key injuries as it is?

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Tags: Eli Manning Henry Hynoski Jake Ballard Mario Manningham Prince Amukamara Tom Coughlin

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