Stat worth noting: The new starting DE tandem of Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka combined for 12 tackles (6 apiece) and a Tuck sack. The Giants clearly survived game one of ‘Life after Michael and Osi.'
Stat worth noting II: The Giants boasted a whopping 241-51 advantage in total yards during the first half. Big Blue posted 14 first downs to Washington's four during that time.
Turning point: In a game more lopsided than the final score would indicate, this game turned on New York's first touchdown. Eli Manning faked everyone out with a naked bootleg, put a nice move on Skins LB Rocky McIntosh by stopping short and cutting inside of him and waltzed into the end zone for the season's first points. While the Giants had difficulty extending the lead, their advantage was never seriously threatened as they opened defense of their Super Bowl Championship on the right foot.
Play to remember: The Giants were already leading 7-0 when they embarked on their second drive of the season. On a second-and-two from the Redskins 32, Brandon Jacobs did what he does best: truck a defender. In very similar fashion to the way he barreled over poor, defenseless Packers CB Charles Woodson in last year's NFC Championship Game, Jacobs plowed over and through supposed big-hitting Skins safety LaRon Landry en route to a 17-yard gain. That set up a John Carney field goal that extended the lead to 10-0 in a game whose outcome was never really in doubt.
Play to forget: Eli Manning committed his first of what the Giants hope will be very few interceptions this season in the third quarter. Manning was under heavy pressure on a first-and-10 play from near midfield. With no one really open, he threw off his back foot toward Kevin Boss and was picked off by Redskins CB Fred Smoot.
What went right
The Giants offense picked right up where it left off last season, marching 84 yards in 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Eli Manning carved up the Skins, completing four passes for a total of 8 yards. The Super Bowl MVP capped the drive with a 1-yard TD on a naked bootleg to his right.
The Giants organization got all the confirmation it could have hoped for regarding the new deal the club awarded Plaxico Burress. That is, unless you don't consider 10 catches for 133 yards impressive. Burress was an absolute beast against Washington.
Justin Tuck didn't take long at all to kick off his first season as a starter. On the Giants first defensive play of 2008, Tuck fought off the blocking attempt of Stephon Heyer and dropped Jason Campbell for an eight-yard sack.
The Giants dominated both in first downs (21-11) and time of possession (35:43-24:17), both of which are usually good signs that you've won a ball game.
Rookie LB Bryan Kehl played very well rotating in at WLB, making five solo stops.
What went wrong
After marching practically effortlessly on its opening march, the Giants offense had to settle for field goals on three other occasions during the first half. Of course, new kicker John Carney passed his first test with flying colors, but if the Giants really want to make a serious run again this season, they very well know that they need to punch the ball into the end zone when they have the opportunity.
New York's kickoff coverage left plenty to be desired. The biggest lapse came when Rock Cartwright, who gained 35 yards on his previous return, brought back a kickoff 50 yards with only 2:00 to play in the opening half. That set up the Skins first score, after the defense had pretty much throttled them all during the first half. Throw in a 15-yard penalty on rookie Bryan Kehl on the second half kickoff and we know one area for sure that the Giants will be practicing often this coming week.
The Giants were flagged seven times for a total of 70 yards, something that didn't sit well with Tom Coughlin at all.
3 – Years since the Giants started the season with a win (over Arizona). Big Blue lost its last two openers to Dallas and Indianapolis
17 – Number of tackles for Redskins LB London Fletcher, who just might have posted the quietest 17-tackle game in NFL history
35 (million) – number of dollars Plaxico Burress will earn during the next five seasons
"The key thing is we opened at home, we won at home, and that is a nice way to start." – Giants coach Tom Coughlin
Game Story: Giants 16, Redskins 7
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