Kurt Warner threw a perfect pass to hit third WR Tim Carter in stride on their 38-yard connection that tied the score (7-7) early in the second quarter. Warner was a picture of precision early, too, as he completed his first seven passes and 14 of his first 17 attempts. In the first quarter, however, Warner wasn't cognizant of blitzing LCB Shawn Springs and fumbled, though the Giants maintained possession. Bottom Line: The fumbling must stop, but do you think Mike Martz wants Warner back yet?
RB Ron Dayne offered little resistance on first contact on a third-and-two play from Washington's 36-yard line and gained only one yard to start the second quarter. Then he hesitated behind two blockers on fourth-and-one, gave that yard back and the Giants turned the ball over on downs. And aside from one four-yard gain, Dayne gained eight yards on eight carries. Tiki Barber missed Springs on that corner blitz, but pounced on Warner's fumble at the Giants' 23. Also, just four of Barber's 20 touches accounted for first downs. Bottom Line: We repeat, let's try Mike Cloud in short-yardage situations.
Third WR Tim Carter faked toward the Giants' sideline, then showed excellent acceleration down the middle of the field in blowing by FS Matt Bowen for that 38-yard score. Carter's other two catches accounted for 44 yards and first downs on one second-quarter drive that resulted in a 22-yard FG by K Steve Christie. Wideout Amani Toomer and flanker Ike Hilliard averaged barely nine yards-per-catch apiece. TE Jeremy Shockey caught five passes, but none went for more than nine yards. Shockey also dropped a pass he could've taken for a first down with about four minutes left in the game, when the Giants were in a second-and-nine situation from their own 24. Bottom Line: Carter's performance was encouraging.
Rookie RG Chris Snee was whistled for three false starts, each of which cost the Giants five yards on third down. The Giants punted on two of those three drives. C Shaun O'Hara stepped on Warner's left foot before the QB could cleanly drop back, which cost them six yards and forced them into a third-and-14 situation from Washington's 36 with about five minutes left in the first quarter. Christie missed a 47-yard FG two players later. Bottom Line: Snee needs to settle down.
RDT Fred Robbins literally dragged RG Randy Thomas across the field and sacked QB Patrick Ramsey for a six-yard loss that backed up the Redskins to the Giants' 30 on a first-down play early in the third quarter. In the second quarter, Robbins tipped a Mark Brunell pass with his left arm at the line of scrimmage, caught the batted ball and returned the interception 13 yards to Washington's 26. LDT Norman Hand sniffed out a Clinton Portis pitch to WR Laveranues Coles and dropped Coles for a 16-yard loss that forced the Redskins into a third-and-23 situation from their own 15 early in the second quarter. Backup LDT William Joseph atoned for a five-yard facemask penalty with a critical six-yard sack of Ramsey on first-and-10 from Washington's 24 just before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. Bottom Line: We were starting to think Joseph was in the defensive tackle protection program.
WLB Barrett Green grabbed Portis' first fumble, which was caused by Thomas' back, and ran 16 yards for a Giants touchdown that changed the game's momentum with 6:21 left in the second quarter. Though the Redskins scored on third-and-goal, Green and MLB Kevin Lewis were able to stuff Portis for no gain and minus-one yard on respective first-and-goal and second-and-goal plays from the Giants' 1 in the first quarter. Reserve MLB Nick Greisen adeptly stripped Brunell when Robbins was spinning him toward a four-yard sack. LDE Michael Strahan recovered Brunell's fumble at Washington's 38 and the Warner-to-Carter connection came on the next play, with 13:01 left in the second quarter. Bottom Line: They played well without SLB Carlos Emmons.
Rookie reserve FS-SS Gibril Wilson broke perfectly to break up a Ramsey-to-Portis attempt on a fourth-and-four play from Washington's 30, with just 1:24 to play. Wilson also intercepted Ramsey's ridiculous third-down throw on the Giants' 10 earlier in the fourth quarter. FS Brent Alexander leaped in front of Coles to intercept an underthrown Ramsey pass into the end zone, with the Giants ahead 20-7 and 1:22 to go in the third quarter. RCB Will Peterson poked the ball out of Portis' hands and backup LDE Osi Umenyiora returned the fumble 19 yards, to the Giants' 49 early in the third quarter. Bottom Line: LCB Will Allen was beaten for a 51-yard catch, but better than in Week 1.
KR Willie Ponder's productivity (returns of 34 and 25 yards) was overshadowed by his unforced fumble. Ponder's drop gave the Redskins, down only six points, the ball at the Giants' 45 with 11:51 to play. The winds were rough, but K Steve Christie was way short on two FG attempts – a 47-yarder in the first quarter and a 51-yarder in the third. Christie saved what could've been a Chad Morton TD by pushing him out of bounds at the Giants' 45 on a kickoff late in the second quarter. Bottom Line: Ponder cannot put kickoffs on the ground.
They burned a timeout before Christie's first miss because the FG unit wasn't completely ready to take the field. The Ron Dayne obsession has reached an unbelievable level. Bottom Line: This win was right on time, but Coughlin fined it for not arriving earlier.
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