Tiki caps emotional week in grand fashion

Tiki Barber was the last Giants player to see Wellington Mara before he passed away. He was also the first to make sure the Giants honored Mara with a victory over the Redskins. After the game, Barber's wife, Ginny, admitted that her husband had a difficult time dealing with Mara's death.

"It was a very emotional week for him," Ginny Barber told TGI. "To play like this today was just a good tribute to Mr. Mara."

Barber was lights out right from the first snap, which he took it 57 yards around left end to set the Giants up for the only score they'd need. By the time Tom Coughlin removed Barber late in the third quarter, he had set a career high with 206 rushing yards on only 24 carries.

"It was a big day for me and a special day for me considering the emotions and the circumstances of this last week," Barber added. "To be able to have my best day on this day was something that I'll never forget."

"I don't think he set out to break any records, but he just wanted Mr. Mara to be proud of him and the team," Barber's wife added.

Everyone was proud of Barber, including his coach.

"It was outstanding," Coughlin said. "Tiki had an outstanding game and the run game was outstanding."

Barber's 206 yards were the second highest ever in Giants history. Gene "Choo Choo" Roberts holds the record with 218 yards against the Chicago Cardinals on Nov. 12, 1950. Barber's previous high was 203 yards against Philadelphia on Dec. 28, 2002.

Barber laughed after the game when asked about the ribbing he took from his teammates after he was twice caught from behind on long runs.

"Yeah I told them I'm getting old," he said. "I'm just the starter now; I need a set-up man and a closer."

Game ball: Much was made of the Giants presenting John Mara with the game ball. Barber also turned in his own moving tribute. When he came to the sideline after scoring on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter, Barber gave the ball to one of Mara's grandsons, Tim McDonnell.

"After I got caught twice I told him before the day is over, I'd get him one," Barber said. "And I was pretty determined to get that last one and I went right over to him and said, ‘this one's for you. This is for your grandpa.' It meant a lot to me because I have a great relationship with Tim McDonnell, especially given how great he was to me when I went up to see Mr. Mara on Monday. It was appropriate for me."

Barber and the 22-year-old McDonnell have always had a special relationship.

"Tim has always been a buddy of mine, even through my bad times here," Barber recalled. "You could call him my ball boy up at training camp before he went off to college (Notre Dame) and became an adult. We've always had a close bond. We keep in touch regularly and to be able to make a promise to him and keep it meant a lot to me."

Blowout: This was the Giants' biggest regular-season victory since a 44-7 rout of Phoenix on Dec. 4, 1988. It was their most one-sided shutout victory since they crushed the Redskins, 53-0, on Nov. 5, 1961. The shutout was the Giants' first since a 41-0 victory over Minnesota in the 2000 NFC Championship Game (Jan 14, 2001) and their first in the regular season since a 20-0 triumph against Philadelphia on Nov. 22, 1998.

Blanked: Washington coach Joe Gibbs was shut out for the first time in 207 regular season games as an NFL head coach. The only other time he was shut out was a 17-0 loss to the Giants in the 1986 NFC Championship Game (Jan. 11, 1987).

Ball control: The Giants' time of possession of 39:21 was their highest since they owned the ball for 42:22 in the 2000 NFC Championship Game against Minnesota and their highest in the regular season since Oct. 29, 2000, when they held it for 43:41 against Philadelphia.

Snuffed out: The Giants' defense held the Redskins to 125 total yards, the smallest output by an opponent since the Vikings gained 114 yards in the NFC Championship Game and the smallest in a regular season game since Dallas had 108 yards on Dec. 16, 1989.

Take a moment: Just prior to the start of the game, PA announcer Bob Sheppard asked the crowd to observe a moment of silence: "Ladies and gentleman, please rise as we honor the memory of Giants president Wellington Mara, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 89. Faith, family and football were the foundation of his life, and for eight decades his wisdom and integrity were guiding lights not only for the Giants, but the entire National Football League. His love for the game, his Giants and you – the fans – were unparalleled. We ask that you observe a moment of silence in memory of Giants president Wellington Mara."

Inactives: As expected WR Plaxico Burress (shoulder) was able to play, but linebacker Carlos Emmons (pectoral muscle) wasn't. The rest of New York's inactives included CB Will Peterson, G Rich Seubert, WR David Tyree, DE Eric Moore, DE Adrian Awasom and DT Damane Duckett. Jared Lorenzen was the third quarterback.

NFC East: The Giants moved into sole possession of first place with their 5-2 record, while the Redskins dropped out of the top spot by falling to 4-3. The Cowboys, who drilled the Cardinals, improved to 5-3, while the Eagles fell to 4-3 after stumbling in Denver.

Next up: The Giants head to San Francisco for the first time since the playoff debacle of 2002 to face the 49ers, who are coming off a win over the Bucs.

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