In the end, the critics had it all wrong. The Giants receivers were tremendously impressive, catching 20 balls for 256 yards in a 23-17 win over the Redskins. They got open, held onto the ball, and showed that they are a good group of players. Mario Manningham is asserting himself as a potential number one receiver. As usual, the defense was impressive and limited the Redskins, and had an good first game.
The Giants started the scoring early on in the first quarter, on a 28 yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes. They added their first touchdown in the second quarter, on a 30 yard pass to Mario Manningham, where Super Mario broke several tackles, and tip-toed his way into the end zone, giving the Giants a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The Giants added more points when Osi Umenyiora made a stellar return to football, stripping Jason Campbell, recovering it and running 37 yards for the score. The Redskins got on the board late in the second quarter, on a fake field goal run for a touchdown, by punter Hunter Smith. That made the score 17-7 at the end of the first half.
The only scoring in the third quarter was a 27 yard field goal by Shaun Suisham.
Lawrence Tynes added a second field goal, this time a 45 yarder, to give the Giants a 20-10 lead early in the fourth. Tynes did it once more late in the 4th, netting a 28 yard kick through the uprights to give the Giants a 23-10 lead. The Redskins made it interesting late, with a 17 yard touchdown pass to bring the Redskins within 6. However, it wasn’t enough as the Giants recovered the ensuing onside kick.
The Giants offense was impressive throughout. Eli Manning earned his money going 20-29 for 256 yards, a touchdown and an interception . . The afore mentioned receivers were tremendous, with Steve Smith leading the way with 80 yards. Manningham added 58 yards, and Kevin Boss contributed 62 yards in the air. They looked crisp, and converted a bunch of third downs. The running game wasn’t tremendously impressive, only rushing for 103 yards. For some reason, the red zone provided issues for the G-Men, as they couldn’t convert third and fourth downs for short yardage near the end zone. That was really the only weak part of the offensive game.
The Giants defense was pretty outstanding, flying across the field. They didn’t give up much damage, and when they did, they stopped it from going any further. They stopped Portis (16 for 62) and Santana Moss (2 for 6) for the most part. Corey Webster had an impressive interception, and Osi Umenyiora looked like his old self. After an Eli Manning interception that was returned back to the Giants 10, the Giants only allowed a field goal, on an impressive stand.
Special teams was a problem, as the Giants were caught completely blindsided by the Redskins fake field goal for a touchdown. The Giants have never had tremendous special teams, and while I don’t think anyone saw the fake field goal coming, it has been the weakest part of the game so far.
Danny Ware was injured on the opening kickoff, dislocating his elbow, and leaving the game. No word on how long he’ll be out. Hakeem Nicks left the game with appeared to be an ankle injury. He was seen on the sidelines with crutches and a boot on his foot, with a sprain on his left foot. No word on the extent. As soon as we hear about these injuries, we’ll get it to you.
The Redskins could never get it going, showing signs of life, but never being able to break through. Campbell was impressive, going 19-26 for 211 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but Clinton Portis did nothing. The defense, I thought, was pretty good, as the Giants were controlling the clock, but the Redskins never let it get out of hand.
All in all, this was an impressive performance for the Giants. Eli looked good, the receivers looked good, the defense looked good. This is a sign of things to come, and it’s a very good sign.