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Instant Analysis: Redskins Giants


Instant Analysis: Redskins Giants

The Redskins ended an embarrassing drought on Monday Night Football. But, more important, their tense 17-16 victory over the Giants resuscitated their playoff hopes.

At 6-6, Robert Griffin and the Redskins pulled even with the Cowboys for second place in the NFC East and moved to within a game of the 7-5 Giants. The victory was the Redskins’ third in a row, their longest winning streak since 2008.

They entered the night having lost 10 consecutive games at home on Monday, a drought that dated to 1997. But this was the first MNF game the Redskins had Griffin, Alfred Morris and Pierre Garçon.

Griffin’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Garçon early in the fourth quarter that restored the Redskins’ lead, 17-16. The two also hooked up at the two-minute warning, extending the drive the home team used to run out the clock.

Garcon, despite playing on a tender right foot, finished with eight receptions for 106 yards. There were hints of a breakout, however. Garçon participated fully in practice Thursday-Saturday, the longest such stretch since before he suffered the injury in the preseason.

Washington also achieved two significant milestones in the game. Morris surpassed 1,000 yards and set the franchise rookie record for rushing, passing Reggie Brooks’ record of 1,063 yards established in 1993. Morris finished with 124 yards on 22 carries.

Griffin, meantime, set the NFL rookie record for rushing yards by a quarterback, gaining 73 on four carries. The previous mark of 706 was set last season by the Panthers’ Cam Newton.

But in a game of such magnitude, individual records meant relatively little.

The Redskins trailed 13-10 at the start of the second half, but eventually seized control.

After a Morris fumble deep in Giants’ territory, Eli Manning marched the visitors down the field on what appeared to be a game-turning drive that culminated with a 35-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes

But the Giants’ 16-10 lead did not last.

Early in the fourth quarter, Griffin directed a masterful 12 play, 86 yard drive that the ended with  Garçon's critical touchdown catch. 

As impressive as the performance by Griffin, Morris and Garçon was on an unseasonably warm night in Landover, it was not without flaws. The defense couldn’t get off the field in the first half, allowing the Giants to convert 8 of 10 third downs. Tight end Martellus Bennett, meantime, caught seven passes for 82 yards in the first two quarters as the Giants dominated time of possession.

But the defense recovered in the second half – just as Griffin and the offense hit its stride.

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Get your popcorn ready- Josh Norman to exclusively cover Odell Beckham

Get your popcorn ready- Josh Norman to exclusively cover Odell Beckham

Redskins players and coaches hinted all week that Josh Norman would cover Odell Beckham on Sunday and now it's looks like the news is official. 

No surprise here as Jay Gruden suggested Norman would cover Beckham on "every snap" last Monday speaking with CSN's Rob Carlin. 

Obviously the Norman/Beckham matchup comes with much anticipation as their pairing came with fireworks in the 2015 season. The two players exchanged words, shoves and Beckham even attempted a flying forearm shiver at one point. 

What this move means for the rest of the redskins defense will be interesting. Though Beckham is the headline, the Giants also present top line receivers in Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard.

RELATED: Redskins vs Giants Preview: 5 things you need to know

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Weather report: A cooler day for heated rivals

Weather report: A cooler day for heated rivals

Things are always heated whenever the Giants and Redskins meet on the field. Everything, that is, except for the weather.

Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m.

The season changed officially to fall over the past week and it will feel like it in New Jersey where the Redskins will hope to earn their first win of the season. According to weather.com, temperatures will reach only the upper sixties for the game, maybe hitting the 70-degree mark at game's end.

While the temperature may be a little down, the good news is that the teams will have a beautiful day to play. There is nothing but sun in the forecast.

Whatever happens Sunday, weather will not be a factor.