Stat worth noting: The Giants had only three penalties for 19 yards in losses.
Stat worth noting II: Despite the lousy weather conditions and the lack of Plaxico Burress, Eli Manning threw for 305 yards.
Turning point: It seems silly to have a turning point play occur on an incompletion. Even more so when it comes on the Giants' first offensive snap of the game. But not in this game. When Kevin Gilbride called for Eli Manning to throw a deep pass to Domenik Hixon down the left sideline, it sent a loud message: The Giants were here to play. Despite the fact that Manning's pass fell to the turf, the Giants established that they weren't concerned with the loss of Plaxico Burress or affected by the Sean Taylor ceremony or the lousy weather. They were just here to do what they do best: win a football game.
Play to remember: Plaxico who? The Giants did a very good job of not missing Plaxico Burress on their first drive. The Giants ‘shot' out of the gate and scored on a beautiful Eli Manning pass to Amani Toomer, who ran past Redskins CB Fred Smoot down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown reception. After two completions to Burress' replacement, Domenik Hixon, to start the drive, Toomer gave the Giants the early lead with a perfect route and catch.
Play to forget: The Redskins got tricky against the Giants defense – and it worked. Washington WR Devin Thomas took a reverse handoff and was able to waltz into the end zone against an over-aggressive defense. LDE Justin Tuck got sucked in and safety Michael Johnson was totally fooled as the Skins got into the end zone for the only time on Thomas' 29-yard touchdown.
What went right
The Skins opted to go for it on a fourth-and-one from their own 39-yard line with still close to 10 minutes to play. Justin Tuck dropped Clinton Portis for no gain, giving the Giants the ball back and basically handing Big Blue the game.
Aaron Ross snuffed out a Washington scoring attempt late in the third quarter. Jason Campbell waited a little too long to throw toward Antwaan Randle El on a deep post pattern and Ross was able to recover and intercept the ball at the Giants 3-yard line.
After being held in check well into the third quarter, Brandon Jacobs finally got on track in DC. He busted free on a 23-yard run off left tackle to energize himself and the offense. Seven plays later he jumped into the end zone with a 1-yard TD that gave the Giants a 20-7 lead.
While it didn't directly lead to points, Steve Smith will gladly take the 11-yard reception that Tom Coughlin challenged and had overturned in the second quarter. Replays showed that Smith was able to get his arms between the ball and the ground for the catch.
What went wrong
The Giants were only able to score 13 out of a possible 21 points in the red zone, having to twice settle for field goals when deep in Washington territory.
With a 13-7 second-quarter lead, Eli Manning had the Giants on the move. That was until he threw an interception to DeAngelo Hall. The Giants were facing a third-and-six from the Redskins 34-yard line when Manning misfired on a pass intended for Domenik Hixon that Hall gladly picked off to thwart the Giants' threat.
The Giants opted to try a QB sneak with Eli Manning on a fourth-and-one from the Washington 38 late in the first half. Needless to say, he was stopped short. Plays like this are what 264-pound tailbacks named Brandon Jacobs were made for.
Derrick Ward had a rough mini-stretch bridging the second and third quarters. First he caught a third-down pass and stepped out of bounds a yard shy of the first-down marker. Then he dropped a third-down pass that he might have been able to convert into a first down. As usual, we're forced to nitpick in this section.
2 – Yards per carry for the dangerous Clinton Portis, who rushed for only 22 yards on 11 carries
6 – Consecutive games the Giants have won against winning teams, one shy of the NFL record
105 – Total yards for RB Derrick Ward, who caught five passes for 75 yards and gained 30 yards on 10 carries.
"I felt we played very well today. We knew they were going to come out hard. We just outplayed them and executed better than they were able to." – Giants RB Brandon Jacobs
"The Giants are a very good football team, but to have them come here and beat us like that is hard." – Redskins coach Jim Zorn
Game Story: Giants 23, Redskins 7
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