Hot Topic & Player Notes: Giants

The Giants averted sinking deeper into a losing mentality as well as breaking a five-year victory drought the week after coming back from their bye, and as a result their definitive 19-3 victory over the Washington Redskins propelled them to a 2-2 record and a 2-0 report card within the NFC East Division.

Last year when the Redskins came to Giants Stadium they left on the sorry end of a 36-0 shutout. So now they have scored three points in their last eight quarters in East Rutherford, N.J. and have lost those two games, 55-3.

This was vindication of sorts for the Giants after their 42-30 defeat in Seattle two weeks ago, and will make a two-game road trip -- starting next Sunday in Atlanta -- somewhat easier to handle.

The Falcons have a dangerous Michael Vick-led running game and a decent passing attack, and it will take another strong defensive effort, which was the case Sunday vs. the Redskins, to give them a chance to win.

Eli Manning had another strong game, completing 23 of 33 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown. He was neither sacked nor intercepted, and finished with a 102.6 rating.

Against Atlanta, he'll have to come up with more of the same, and the Falcons' secondary appears to be stronger and morel dangerous than the one the Giants' methodically picked apart on Sunday.

The Giants put up a massive offensive total of 411 yards against the Redskins, which included 155 rushing. Tiki Barber brought to an end his two-game skein of non-100-yard games with 123 yards on 23 carries, and of those 23 carries resulted in first downs.

"We played well," said head coach Tom Coughlin, obviously relieved that the one-week layoff produced positive results. "We worked hard on what we hadn't been doing well. We self-scouted ourselves and then put together a plan of practice to make ourselves better."

Much of the work, apparently, was devoted to the secondary, and the result was Redskins managing only 86 total net passing yards. While there were no interceptions (on either side) the Giants got much-improved performances from strong safety Gibril Wilson (six tackles), cornerback Sam Madison (five tackles and a pass knocked down) and free safety Will Demps (five tackles). Superstar wide receiver Santana Moss was limited to just 39 yards with three receptions.

"We did what we had to do," said Coughlin. "It was nice to see the defense play well, and we were good against the run. They tried to control the game with their running attack but we were able to stop it."

Coughlin praised the offense as well. "We got some big plays and that allowed us to stay comfortable," he noted. Those plays included a 46-yard catch by wide receiver Plaxico Burress (seven for 69 yards) and a 44-yarder to wide receiver Amani Toomer, who caught four for 81 yards and was denied a touchdown grab when holding was called on tight end Jeremy Shockey on the play.

Now it's off to Atlanta with a full dose of relief provided by the usually-cooperative Redskins, who share the Giants' 2-2 record.

PLAYER NOTES

--TE Jeremy Shockey left the game in the fourth quarter with a sore foot, although it was not clear whether it was the sprained ankle that has been troubling him all season or the foot in which a pin was inserted to prevent further stress fractures. He caught only one pass for 13 yards.

--DE Michael Strahan recorded his first sack of the season (and first in the last seven games dating back to 2005) when he got Redskin QB Mark Brunell for eight yards. He also had three tackles and a quarterback hit (a new stat for the NFL this year).

--WR Amani Toomer had four receptions to raise his career total to 553 (all with the Giants). He became the first Giant with more than 550 catches.

--SLB LaVar Arrington, whose "reunion" with the Redskins, the team he left after acrimonious feelings for two years, was obviously pleased with the result but kept his comments on a higher plane (for a change). "I said all week that we needed to get on track no matter who we were playing," he said. "It didn't matter to me who we were playing, we needed to get a win. Now we need to get a streak going."

--K Jay Feely kicked four field goals but was troubled by the one he missed, a 47-yarder in the first quarter. "But coming back to kick four in a row was something we needed as a team."

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