It's hard to bash a defense after a game in which they only allowed 13 points, and only three in the second half. So, we'll go easy on them, even though the Redskins met them halfway with poor execution and lack of composure.
The Redskins actually led this game, 10-7, at the half and it could have been 17-7 had the RGIII TD run not been reversed. The reversal of the call was the correct one, negating the TD as Griffin did not possess the ball all the way to the ground in the end zone after lacking possession over the goal line, and the Giants dodged a huge bullet. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after the play by Washington moved the second half kickoff to the Washington 35. The Giants cashed in on an onside kick to open the half and never looked back.
The Giants had seven sacks and 12 QB hits. It was the third week in a row the defense had at least seven sacks and, believe it or not, it's the first time that’s happened in Giants history. The Giants have 41 sacks on the season, far exceeding their 2013 total of 34 – with two games remaining. They have climbed up the stats tree and are currently fourth in the NFL in team sacks.
The game was about clutch plays. The Giants made them, the Redskins did not. Washington was 4-13 on third down and 0-1 on fourth down. They went 1-4 in the red zone and 0-2 in goal-to-go efficiency. End of story.
DL: DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Jon Hankins each had 2.5 sacks in this game. JPP had seven total tackles, two for a loss, five QB hits and a forced fumble. Hankins had six total tackles, two for losses, three QB hits and a forced fumble. JPP now has 9.5 sacks on the season and Big Hank has seven. DE Damontre Moore recorded five total tackles with a half-a-sack and two QB hits. Rookie Kerry Wynn continued his strong campaign with seven total tackles.
Washington did average 5.3 YPC on the ground, however, keeping drives alive and almost scoring right before the half on an RGIII (5 rushes, 46 yards) run. QB escapes and bootlegs continue to expose the Giants. Colt McCoy ran twice for a total of 24 yards but was knocked from the game on the second run. Grade: B+
LB: Devon Kennard (7 tackles, two for losses, 0.5 sacks, a PD and a FF) led the way again. Jameel McClain (knee) toughed it out and played all 70 defensive snaps recording six tackles and a QB hit. Mark Herzlich added four tackles. Grade: B
DB: Safeties Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown played all 70 defensive snaps but had only seven tackles and a PD between them CB Chykie Brown played 68 and had five tackles. DRC was in on 57 plays, recording four tackles and a PD. Washington and RGIII caught them napping at points. WR Andre Roberts split them open for a 61-yard catch and run up the middle of the field. RB Chris Thompson scored from nine yards out on a dump off with no Giant defenders in sight. The secondary looked slow, with the exception of DRC, who had another strong game in coverage. Grade: B
Specials/Coverage Teams: The Redskins' average start of possession was their own 23 yard line. Not bad. K Josh Brown had two touchbacks, kicked another out of bounds and had another returned for 33 yards. He did have a successful onside kick to open the second half, recovered by DB Chandler Fenner. Steve Weatherford punted six tme for a net of 43.5. Four of those six were downed inside the 20 and a fifth was returned for a whopping one yard. Grade: A