“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Dr. Martin Luther King
So…the season remains afloat. Down 14-0 after a lifeless opening 19 minutes of play, the Giants defense woke up and the Redskins playmaker-deficient offense came back to Earth. As a result, the G-Men scored 24 of the game’s final 27 points, claiming victory and upping their standing to 5-7. They remain alive, albeit slimly, for the NFC East title.
Justin Tuck played 71 of 72 defensive snaps, recording four sacks of Griffin III and constantly redirecting run plays in the backfield. He recorded three sacks in the 4th quarter alone, surpassing his season accumulation of 2.5 in the prior 11 games. Tuck sacked the QB four times total in 2012. While this performance level surely won’t sustain, it was nice to see him turn back the clocks for an evening.
The last time Jon Beason registered 13 tackles in a game was December 27, 2009. 11 of his tackles were of the solo variety, and eight resulted in failed offensive plays (stops). This one takes the cake:
Eli Manning completed ten consecutive passes between the 11:36 mark of the second quarter and 12:04 mark of the third quarter. He hit six different receivers – Myers (2), Brown (2), Cruz (2), Nicks (2), Pascoe and Hillis – for 108 yards and a score during that stretch. In typical Eli fashion, he was intercepted on a middle overthrow on the very next drive; a ball that he should have eaten.
Pierre Garcon caught nine passes (12 targets), but the secondary held Washington’s lone dynamic receiver to 6.8 yards per reception with a long gain of 16. Garcon appeared mentally checked out, kicking a ball into the stands and getting the rock ripped away by Will Hill to end the proceedings. Hill was his active and form tackling self on 70 defensive/special teams snaps.
ONE penalty committed for ONE yard. On the contrary, the Skins were penalized eight times for 55 yards of damage.
Steve Weatherford punted the Giants out of dreadful early field position. He averaged 48 on six kicks – indeed the Jints were 4/12 on third-down conversions – including a 61-yarder from his own end zone and placing two inside the 20-yard line.
DeAngelo Hall, who has five career interceptions in 13 games against the Giants, was a relative non-factor. He almost picked off a low slant intended for Nicks, but Hakeem battled to get mutual possession. Victor Cruz burned Hall twice on the go-ahead drive early in the fourth quarter.
The Giants ran the ball for 58 yards on their first touchdown drive, with Peyton Hillis ripping off a 27-yarder and Andre Brown scampering for a 23-yard touchdown… but the rest of the game they compiled 22 net rushing yards. Brown finished with 14 carries for 35 yards – 13 carries for 12 yards sans the long TD run.
Perry Fewell and the defense invited RGIII to play to his strengths at the start, almost as if they were unaware of the scouting report. They were eventually able to disrupt his rhythm, but why ever let him find it without resistance? He was all too comfortable in the first quarter +, completing his first 12 throws in succession. Griffin completes only 53% of his passes against the blitz (46% all pressure), yet the Giants sent the blitz on just eight occasions.
Watching Will Beatty play left tackle was borderline painful. He was absolutely embarrassed by Brian Orakpo on multiple occasions (2 sacks), and he chose to block no one in particular on Josh Wilson’s corner blitz. RT Justin Pugh struggled in pass protection as well, allowing two QB hurries from Ryan Kerrigan.