X's and O's

Here is a break down, position by position, of how the Giants performed against the Redskins.


Rolling left and pressured, Eli Manning made an ill-advised throw into open space. LCB Fred Smoot intercepted it at Washington's 36, with 6:30 left in the third quarter. Manning didn't get a snap off in time, and the Giants were flagged for a costly delay of game penalty at Washington's 6 early in the second quarter. Manning might be slow, but his quick thinking on a cutback at Washington's 5 faked out WLB Rocky McIntosh and gave him the space he needed to dive for a 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Giants a 7-0 lead just 5:06 into the game. Bottom Line: Manning wasn't super, but they still won.


RB Brandon Jacobs broke two tackles and steamrolled FS LaRon Landry for a 17-yard gain that gave the Giants the ball at Washington's 15, with about five minutes left in the first quarter. The Giants went ahead 10-0 four plays later on K John Carney's 24-yard field goal. That was one of three runs by Jacobs that went for 16 yards or more. Bottom Line: The Jacobs/Derrick Ward combination did damage.


Smoot was wrapping him up and dragging him down, but WR Plaxico Burress showed tremendous concentration by catching a ball he tipped for an 11-yard catch on a third-and-six play from Washington's 17 on the Giants' first drive of the game. The Giants went ahead 7-0 three plays later and never looked back. Earlier in that drive, with RCB Carlos Rogers draped over him, Burress left his feet to make a diving 19-yard catch over the middle of the field that moved the Giants to Washington's 21 on their first drive of the game. Burress blew by Rogers on the previous play to catch a 30-yard pass that got the Giants to the Redskins' 40. Bottom Line: Burress began paying dividends on that extension immediately.


LT David Diehl allowed RDE Andre Carter to shed his block, slide inside and drop Manning for an eight-yard sack on the first play of the fourth quarter, which Carter shared with Landry. RG Chris Snee fell for DE Chris Wilson's spin move, which accounted for a second fourth-quarter sack. But Jacobs and Ward had plenty of holes to exploit Bottom Line: They were above average.


RDE Mathias Kiwanuka wasn't credited with a sack or a hurry, but he was disruptive enough to often draw double teams, particularly in the second half. LDE Justin Tuck was aware enough as he bounced off the double-team block of RG Randy Thomas to grab the jersey of QB Jason Campbell and drag him down for eight-yard sack on Washington's first offensive play from scrimmage. Bottom Line: Michael Strahan was on the field, but they didn't need him.


RB Clinton Portis wasn't technically down, as he fell on a tackling Robbins and RT Stephon Heyer. Even though the whistle wasn't blown, WLB Gerris Wilkinson was asking for trouble by blasting a vulnerable Portis on a play that was clearly over. He was whistled for a 15-yard personal foul with 6:02 left in the game. Bottom Line: They were relatively quiet.


RCB Aaron Ross took the wrong path over the middle, allowing MLB Antonio Pierce to get in his way when WR Santana Moss took a pass from Campbell 12 yards to the end zone. Moss' touchdown helped cut Washington's deficit to 16-7 with 13 seconds left in the first half. Ross did, however, cover Moss stride-for-stride and nearly made an interception on what could've been a 59-yard touchdown pass near the midway mark of the third quarter. Bottom Line: They mostly kept Moss in check this time around.


K John Carney drilled all three of his FG attempts, from 24, 25 and 47 yards. All five of Carney's kickoffs landed at least at Washington's 5, too. P Jeff Feagles kept PR Antwaan Randle El from hurting the Giants by allowing only one of four punts to be returned. DE Jerome McDougle's effort to block a first-quarter punt was commendable, but after barely tipping the ball his 15-yard personal foul for roughing P Durant Brooks gave Washington a first down. Bottom Line: Domenik Hixon should be their primary kick returner Sunday in St. Louis.


Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was his usual inventive self, between blitzing and having Kiwanuka and Tuck drop into coverage on the same play. Giving Jacobs breaks for entire series seemed to have the designed positive effect on him and Ward (nine carries, 39 yards). Bottom Line: They're 1-0 without Shockey, Strahan and Umenyiora.

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