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Defense earns best grade yet vs. Vikings

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Defense earns best grade yet vs. Vikings

Defense
Grade vs. Vikings: B+
Comment: Although it may have seemed that the Redskins’ defense got pushed around in the first quarter as Vikings kicker Blair Walsh finished off consecutive drives with short field goals, in fact, keeping Minnesota out of the end zone early likely proved to be the difference in the game.

Three times, Christian Ponder and the Vikings had the ball inside the Redskins’ 10-yard line. But instead of seizing a 21-0 lead, they settled for a 9-0 edge that was quickly erased by Washington’s high-octane offense.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett also deserves kudos for making significant changes to his personnel. After struggling to produce an adequate pass against the Falcons and Buccaneers, Haslett introduced special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander (season-high 27 snaps) to the rotation of linebackers and scaled back playing time for Chris Wilson (2). Recently signed Mario Addison also played 11 snaps.

Of course, the Redskins still miss two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Brian Orakpo. But his absence was much less noticeable Sunday with Alexander enjoying a breakout game. Alexander’s fumble recovery at the Minnesota 6-yard line led to a touchdown. He also recorded 1-½ sacks of the team’s season-high four sacks.

Haslett also increased Jordan Pugh’s playing time at safety and reduced DeJon Gomes’.

“We’re going to always try to play the best players,” Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday. “So if a guy like Lorenzo has a great game, we’re going to try to find ways to get him into the football game.”

The defense also produced a touchdown – again. Madieu Williams’ 24-yard interception return for a touchdown was the Redskins’ fourth defensive score of the season.

It wasn’t a flawless performance by any means. Ponder passed for 352 yards, Percy Harvin hauled in 14 receptions for 133 yards and Adrian Peterson ripped off an early 32 yard run. But the unit produced three turnovers and, although it bent in the fourth quarter, it did not break, which should give the Redskins something to build on entering next week’s NFC East opener in New York.

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Redskins get first win, capitalize on turnovers to edge Giants 29-27

Redskins get first win, capitalize on turnovers to edge Giants 29-27

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ— The Redskins went into the Meadowlands and had a back-and-forth slugfest with the Giants. Many of the problems that have plagued them all year were in full display, including an inability to score from the red zone. But they fought and scrapped and took the lead with a 37-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal with 1:51 left.

A diving interception by Su’a Cravens killed a last Giants drive and the Redskins were able to kill the clock and walk out of MetLife Stadium with a 29-27 win.

The Redskins fell behind 14-3 in the first quarter but they battled back to take a 23-21 lead early in the third.

There was what could have been a costly moment at the end of the first half. The Redskins were down at the New York four with six second left in the half. With no timeouts they had one play to try to get into the end zone. But Cousins was sacked and the clock ran out, leaving an easy three and possibly seven points on the table. But, in the end, it didn’t cost the Redskins.

Josh Norman did match up with Odell Beckham for most of the day, as was widely anticipated. Beckham had his moments, catching 7 passes for 121 yards. But Norman’s team left with the win.

Quinton Dunbar became the first Redskin since 200 to have both a reception and an interception on the same game. He caught a 31-yard pass from Tress Way on a fake punt and he made a leaping interception in the end zone to prevent a Giants score.  

 Injury Updates:

CB Bashaud Breeland left the game with a lower leg injury, his return was questionable. He was later downgraded to out with an ankle injury.

C Kory Lichtensteiger left the game in the first quarter after being poked in the eye. He returned the next series.

S DeAngelo Hall left the game in the second quarter with a right knee sprain. He did not return.

WR DeSean Jackson left to game just before halftime to be evaluated for a left knee or ankle injury. He returned to the game in the second half.

G Shawn Lauvao left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.

C Kory Lichtensteiger left the game in the third quarter with a calf injury and did not return.

Scoring drives:  

First quarter            

Vereen 1 run (Brown kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 28 yards, 1:05

Drive summary: The Giants went three and out on their first series but Quinton Dunbar touched the punt and New York recovered at the Washington 28. From there Shane Vereen ran for 15 and then Manning went to Sterling Shepard for 12 yards to the one. Vereen went right up the middle into the end zone from there and the Redskins’ good start turned bad in a hurry.

Giants 7, Redskins 0 12:18          

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Hopkins FG 49

Drive: 7 plays, 29 yards, 2:43

Drive summary: The Redskins got good field position after the kickoff went out of bounds. Chris Thompson ran eight yards for one first down and Cousins went to Pierre Garçon for another. But on third and two Cousins misfired for Jordan Reed and Hopkins came on to boom the long field goal through.

Giants 7, Redskins 3 9:35            

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Shepard 23 pass from Manning (Brown kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 3:25

Drive summary: Shane Vereen got the Giants to midfield with a 14-yard run up the middle. They Manning tossed a short pass to running back Bobby Rainey, who scooted for 24 yards to the Washington 23. Two plays later Sterling Shepard got a step on Dashaun Phillips and Manning lofted it over his head and into Sterling’s hands for the touchdown.

Giants 14, Redskins 3 6:10          

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FG Hopkins 33

Drive: 11 plays, 60 yards, 5:45

Drive summary: The Redskins got a couple of third-down conversions, one on a pass from Cousins to Reed and another on a pass to Crowder. In between Cousins hit Pierre Garçon over the middle for a gain of 20. But the drive stalled when a pass from Cousins to Crowder was short and Hopkins came in to kick the field goal.  

Giants 10, Redskins 0 0:25          

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Second quarter

FG Hopkins 45

Drive: 7 plays, 9 yards, 3:58

Drive summary: The Redskins got good field position on a spectacular 50-yard punt return by Jamison Crowder. They quickly faced a third down but Cousins fired to Garçon for nine yards to convert. But a couple of penalties pushed them back and Hopkins had to come on to boot another field goal.

Giants 14, Redskins 9 8:34          

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Darkwa 2 run (Brown kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 4:22

Drive summary: The Giants got some penalty help on this drive. First they completed a 15-yard pass to Cruz to convert a third and 13. Then they got some help on a borderline illegal contact call flag on third and 2. After Manning completed a pass to Shepard for 18 yards a roughing the pass call was tacked on, moving the ball to the Washington 17. It took Orleans Darkwa two runs from there to get into the end zone.

Giants 21, Redskins 9 4:12          

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Jackson 44 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 2 plays, 75 yards, 0:32

Drive summary: That was fast. First Cousins launched one to Jackson for 31 yards to the Giants 44. On the next play he went for Jackson in the end zone. The receiver made a grab that withstood a replay review and he got the touchdown.

Giants 21, Redskins 16 3:40       

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Third quarter

Crowder 55 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 50 yards, 1:17

Drive summary: The Redskins got another quick score. They got the ball at midfield following a punt. A holding call left them with third and 15. Cousins threw a screen to Crowder, who picked his way through the defense, getting help from guard Trent Williams, who took out two defenders. Crowder went down the sideline, cut to the middle and completed the 55-yard touchdown pass.

Redskins 23, Giants 21 9:45       

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FG Brown 29

Drive: 9 plays, 64 yards, 3:16

Drive summary: The Giants answered the Redskins touchdown quickly. Manning threw to Cruz on the right sideline and after Greg Toler missed a tackle he scooted for 37 yards to the Washington 38. Then Darkwa scooted for 13, 9 and six yards down to the 10. The drive stalled there and Brown kicked a field goal to put the Giants back on top.

Giants 24, Redskins 23                 

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Fourth quarter

FG Hopkins 25

Drive: 15 plays, 68 yards, 6:32

Drive summary: The Giants answered the Redskins touchdown quickly. Manning threw to Cruz on the right sideline and after Greg Toler missed a tackle he scooted for 37 yards to the Washington 38. Then Darkwa scooted for 13, 9 and six yards down to the 10. The drive stalled there and Brown kicked a field goal to put the Giants back on top.

Redskins 26, Giants 23 14:57     

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FG Brown 30

Drive: 9 plays, 58 yards, 3:07

Drive summary: The Giants got going with a couple of passes to Beckham, good for 14 and 12 yards. Then Manning went to Vereen for a gain of 16 down to the 20. But Manning to Beckham was short of the line to gain on third down and the Giants retook the lead with a Brown field goal.

Giants 27, Redskins 26 7:53       

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FG Hopkins 37

Drive: 10 plays, 56 yards, 6:02

Drive summary: A roughing the passer penalty gave them a first down at their own 36 and then Matt Jones ran for 6, 3, and 10 yards for a first down in Giants territory. The Jones powered for another first down by getting 12 yards to the 24. On third and three at the 17 Jones was stuffed for a loss and Hopkins came in and gave the Redskins the lead.

Redskins 29, Giants 27, 1:51      

MORE REDSKINS: Beckham Jr. gets into fight with kicking net

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Odell Beckham Jr. fights kicking net, loses

Odell Beckham Jr. fights kicking net, loses

Odell Beckham Jr. had two spectacular catches on Sunday against the Redskins, but Josh Norman, and the rest of the Redskins' secondary did a good job keeping one of the top wide receivers in the league in check.

Frustration got the better of Beckham Jr. late in the third quarter after Eli Manning threw a red zone interception.

But instead of going after a player, like he did with Josh Norman last season, he took his anger out on an inanimate object.

Beckham went to the sideline and slammed his helmet against the kicking net, which did not take kindly to his actions.

RELATED: REDSKINS vs. GIANTS LIVE BLOG

Beckham Jr. was not a happy camper.