No Plax. No Problem. That’s certainly going to be a theme in most papers tomorrow. But it proved true once again.
From the get go, on this cold, rainy day in Washington, it was apparent that it was going to be business as usual for the defending Super Bowl Champions. With RB Brandon Jacobs back in the fold, people thought that New York was going to do what they do best: pound the ball. But the Skins weren’t going to allow them to do this. Bringing eight and nine men into the box on probably 80% of the plays, the Skins challenged Eli to beat them through the air and that’s exactly what he did.
On the 1st offensive series, Eli hit Burress’ replacement, Domenik Hixon, on two crucial 3rd downs to pick up 1st downs and keep the drive going. And on 1st and 10 from the 40, Manning located Amani Toomer on a perfectly throw ball down the sidelines for a 40-yard TD pass.
The Giants struck 1st and subdued whatever emotion Washington was playing on after inducting the late Sean Taylor into the Ring of Fame prior to the game. After that, NY had to settle for a few FGs before putting the final touches on the game with an eight play, 48 yard drive that was capped off with a Jacobs one-yard TD to put the Giants in front 20-7.
On the other side of the ball, the problems were numerous for the Washington Redskins. And truth be told, they should have been shut out. Rookie WR Devin Thomas only scored on a 29-yard end around TD after a Corey Webster INT was negated due to a very questionable illegal hands to the face the call.
The Giants made stopping Clinton Portis their top priority. They kept seven to eight guys around the box all afternoon and challenged Campbell to beat them, just like Washington did to Eli. Unfortunately for Skins fans, the young QB couldn’t get it done.
The pressure he received from the Giants’ defense wasn’t as devastating as we’ve become accustomed to seeing from them, but it was effective and often threw off the timing between Campbell and his receivers. And late in the 3rd, trying to answer Jacobs’ one-yard TD, Campbell went up top to his receiver but it was intercepted by CB Aaron Ross inside the 10-yard line. After that, it was just a matter of formalities until the blow of the final whistle.
The Giants now move to 11-1 and inch one step closer to both the NFC East title and home field throughout while the Redskins are left at 7-5 and their playoff hopes are on life support. Without running the tables to finish the season, it appears that the Skins are going to have a lot of free time come January.