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Game Blog Giants at Redskins

Game Blog Giants at Redskins

First Quarter
If the first series is any indication, the Giants will be throwing on early downs to give Eli Manning some time to throw. It almost worked, but Plaxico Burress dropped his first-down bomb.

Somebody on the Redskins must have tipped the referees off about defensive holding on their running plays. Dallas got called for it twice last week and now there is another one in the early going today against the Giants. I don’t recall it being called up until then.

Clinton Portis is going to pop one today. He’s come close a couple of times already on the first offensive series. All he needs to do is make one guy miss and he’ll be off to the races.

Slick and slippery. That’s what Santana Moss was on that little bubble screen that he took to the house. Derrick Dockery did a good job of getting downfield out in front of Moss and the defensive back had absolutely zero chance of getting around him to try to make the tackle.

As one person up here noted, a 7:08 drive with a lot of running is just what you want in Christmas Eve. It would be great to be down in the victorious locker room by 4 PM.

New York does seem to have the Washington defense a bit off balance as they are throwing on first and 10 and running on second and long. The strategy is keeping Manning in the pocket with time to throw and giving Tiki Barber some running room. When they had to pass on third and four, the ball got batted in the air by Phillip Daniels. Still, the drive netted the Giants a field goal.

That was the worst pass Brunell has thrown all year, by far. Perhaps he was out of synch with Thrash, the intended receiver, but it looked like he just didn’t see Chase Blackburn, who got one of the easiest touchdowns a defender will ever get.

It’s not hard to see why Antonio Brown isn’t getting any time at receiver despite his speed. He has no moves at all. If he stops going straight ahead or does any more than a full-speed veer, he’s dead.
I was going to type that the Redskins are setting up a play-action bomb by running on every first down, but I didn’t. I could go back in the chronicle here and do so, but it wouldn’t be right. Good adjustment by Moss on Brunell’s underthrown ball. He’s showing that he’s the complete package as a receiver, not just a speed demon.
 
Second Quarter
Portis was very, very close to breaking it on his first carry of the second quarter. He was just off balance enough when a Giant defender brushed him to get knocked out off bounds. It’s coming, I tell you.
Ade Jimoh is an animal on special teams. As the gunner, he had a Giants trying to both hold and clip him, but Jimoh wouldn’t have any of it. He got to Chad Morton as soon as he caught the punt and made a textbook open field tackle.

It is indeed the season for giving. Manning returned Brunell’s gift-wrapped interception favor with one to Lamar Marshall that should have had a bow on it. Jeremy Shockey has no idea where the ball was, apparently not believing that Eli had thrown it right between the “9” and the “8” on Marshall’s jersey. Happy Holidays, indeed!

The Giants don’t know what hit them on Portis’ TD toss to Cooley. That’s the best spot on the field to try that one from; when they ran it in St. Louis it was near midfield and you don’t expect a running back to have the skills to complete that one. This was just an easy toss to a wide-open Cooley. That’s going to set the New York defenders back on their heels a bit on the toss sweep from here on out.

It’s unusual to see the Redskins playing as soft as they are on this two-minute drive by the Giants. They’re in field goal range thanks to a questionable personal foul call on Ryan Clark and the rush really hasn’t come close to Manning and the coverage has still been rather soft.

New York gets a lucky break to get back into it. Burress should be ashamed of himself for being able to do nothing more than bat Manning’s pass into the air and Toomer should be commended for great concentration in making the catch in the end zone. It doesn’t look like there’s enough to overturn, although it’s very close.

Still, you have to like a 21-17 lead at the half. The Giants still don’t have an answer for the Redskins’ offense.

Third Quarter

That was not the series that the Redskins needed to respond to the Giants’ score near halftime. An OK run, a dropped pass, and a sack, that’s not the way to grab the momentum back. The Giants not only get the ball back, they have decent field position at their own 34.

Clutch special teams play by the Redskins with the blocked chip-shot field goal attempt. For the Giants to score on that drive would have put momentum back on the Giants’ side.

Patrick Ramsey came into the game the last time the Redskins played the Giants, too. The circumstances were quite different as New York had the game well in hand at that point. We’ll see how much Ramsey has learned in his 14 games on the bench.

Clinton Portis—or, more accurately, the offensive line—needs to step it up if the Redskins are going to stay in control. A solid running game is any quarterback’s best friend, especially a rusty one.
It really is too bad that Santana Moss is just a speedster who really isn’t much of a receiver. After bailing out Brunell on an underthrow earlier, he made a great adjustment on Ramsey’s pass and took it to the house again.

A very smooth, cool Manning going to Shockey to convert a third and nine. There were Redskins jumping all around and he calmly found  lane to throw to for a big first down.

This already has been a higher-scoring game than many thought at 28-20 and it’s not even the end of the third quarter yet. Manning is hanging tough.
 
Fourth Quarter
 
I told you that Portis was going to break one. Although 19 yards isn’t exactly coast to coast, he could have gone for 80. Besides, as it gives them a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, it may have been the most important 19 yards of the season for Portis and the Redskins.
 
I doubt that the Giants will be abandoning the run at this point. They have little hope of Manning drops back on every play. They need two touchdowns and Barber is their best offensive weapon and their best chance of getting the scores.
 
That may have been a little early to go for it on fourth down, especially with six yards to go and over ten minutes to play. A field goal would avoid the necessity for a two-point conversion.
 
After getting played to a standoff for most of three quarters, the Washington offensive line is now beginning to dominate the players in front of them. They’re blowing them back off the line and Betts and Portis are running hard into the holes.
 
One holding call and one possible PI that wasn’t called may have wrapped this one up for the Redskins. The hold brought back a New York TD and the non-call let stand a fourth-down incompletion. I certainly don’t want to imply that interference should have been called on Shawn Springs, just that I’ve seen it called on similar plays.
 
Who is the best team in the NFC now? You could make a case that the Redskins are playing better than anyone now and they have improved more than anyone over the past month. They hung 35 on the Giants, a team that shut them out less than two months ago. That’s all you need for a yardstick to tell how well this group is playing right now.
 
Hail to the Redskins.

Postscript

It’s quite a challenge to get a Redskin to actually acknowledge that he accomplished something out on the field. In the interview room I tried to get Santana Moss to say something about being a big-time player making big plays in a big time game. He talked about hard work and credited Clinton Portis for making the safeties cheat to help with the run. Renaldo Wynn’s block wasn’t a great individual effort, according to Wynn, it was a great scheme that Danny Smith called at the right time.

Clinton Portis did boast—about his passing ability. His success on the ground was due to Moss keeping the defense back on its heels, the offensive line, and great play calling.

As long as that attitude prevails, nobody is going to want to play this team in the playoffs should they get there.

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Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.

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Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 4, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Cardinals 4:25 pm

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 7; Panthers @ Redskins 15; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 20

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals

—It needs to be a Ryan Kerrigan day if the Redskins are going to win. Or a Preston Smith day, something rarely seen this year. Or perhaps Arizonan Trent Murphy will get a couple of sacks for his friends and family. Carson Palmer has been ineffective this year because he has been under constant pressure. Washington needs to keep that up.

—It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Josh Norman and Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals don’t just put Fitz into the slot as a wrinkle; they do it all the time. Norman isn’t comfortable covering in the slot but Joe Barry and Jay Gruden will be very uncomfortable if Fitzpatrick dominates Kendall Fuller. Maybe they will try to start off with Norman on the outside but they will adjust quickly. I know I’ve been back and forth on this all week but the Redskins will not use their base defense very often since the Cardinals like to spread the field so much. There will be no “standard” set for this game.

—The Redskins gain 6.4 yards per play, second in the NFL. The Cardinals allow 4.7 yards per game, first in the NFL. As usual, Washington may have to get their score into the upper 20’s to win. That might require a takeaway or a big special teams play.

—A lot of running backs would like to be in a “slump” like the one David Johnson is in now. After gaining at least 83 yards in five straight games, including going over 100  yards in three straight, Johnson has a combined 240 rushing yards in his last four games. Sixty yards per game is respectable but not dominant. The Redskins will gladly sign up for that going in but the Cards will want to get him going against Washington’s leaky rushing defense.

—I think the Redskins will be able to pressure Palmer but Johnson probably has a big day on tap. Unlike some other teams who have played the Redskins this year, if the Cardinals get a good running game going they won’t abandon it. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins’ offense will be slowed down but not shut down. My prediction, which I make with no hesitation but without much confidence:

Redskins 27, Cardinals 21

Tandler on Twitter

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