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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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Did DeSean Jackson take a shot at Redskins' offense on Instagram?

Did DeSean Jackson take a shot at Redskins' offense on Instagram?

DeSean Jackson's stats from the past four games look like numbers that a block first, catch second tight end would post, not numbers that one of the NFL's most premier receiving talents would have. But, for a combination of a few reasons, the electric wideout has been unplugged since Week 3.

In Sunday's loss against the Lions, Jackson caught five balls for 35 yards, good for seven yards per catch. On most days, his average reception goes for double that, and pretty often, he's good for triple that.

Therefore, you would expect that No. 11 would be a little frustrated with how things have gone as of late, especially considering that he's in a contract year. That's why this picture on Instagram, which Jackson put up Sunday evening, could be interpreted as a showing of displeasure with his role in Washington's offense since a 96-yard performance in New York: 

I'm tellin ya ' 🤔

A photo posted by Desean Jackson (@0ne0fone) on

For the year, DJax has one score, and since September 25, he hasn't topped five grabs or 55 yards. Some questions as to why they can't get him the ball on anything more than some short comebacks or shallow crossers should be expected this week.


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Redskins' loss leaves them in a muddled situation

Redskins' loss leaves them in a muddled situation

DETROIT—With 1:05 left to play against the Lions the Redskins were in position to pull within a half game of the NFC East lead.

But a Matthew Stafford miracle drive later they find themselves tied for last place in the division.

Life comes at you fast in the NFC East. The last-place Giants, who started the day in last place, were up first on Sunday. They picked off Case Keenum four times in a 17-10 win over the perpetually mediocre Rams.

While the Redskins were battling it out with the Giants, the Eagles were putting the first mark this season in the Vikings’ loss column. It was a sloppy game, with the team committing a combined five turnovers in the first 10 minutes of play. But ultimately the Eagles persevered and won 21-10.

The Cowboys watched all of this unfold while they were on their bye. They were guaranteed to remain in first place at 5-1 regardless of what happened. They are trailed by three teams with four wins each. The Eagles have had their bye so they are in second at 4-2. Both the Giants and Redskins are 4-3. New York is off this week and Washington’s bye comes after their trip to London this week. Some would say that the Redskins are ahead of New York due to their head-to-head win over the Giants. But that tiebreaker won’t really be set until the teams settle it at FedEx Field on January 1. Only a head-to-head sweep matters.

A win would have made the Redskins the only five-win team not leading a division, a good spot when it comes to getting a wild card if they can't stop the Cowboys. But reality is that they are one of five four-win teams and if the season ended today they would be out of the playoffs. The good news is that the season isn't even halfway over. 

One aspect of the Redskins’ loss on Sunday could potentially come back to bite them. When you look across the divisions at the wild card playoff race you see the Lions also have a 4-3 record now. But Detroit holds the tiebreaker now with the head-to-head win. There is plenty of time for things to play out but that could come back to bite the Redskins in terms of either playoff seeding or making the postseason at all.