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Instant analysis: Giant win moves Redskins into share of NFC East lead

Analysis of the big plays and quarter-by-quarter turning points in the Washington Redskins' 20-14 win over the New York Giants

LANDOVER -- A quarter-by-quarter look at the Washington Redskins' 20-14 win over the New York Giants Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field. The two teams sit atop the NFC East.

FIRST QUARTER: 

Big play: The tip drill was in full effect as Perry Riley and Will Blackmon intercepted passes from Eli Manning. Both set the Redskins offense up with the ball in New York territory. Both possessions ended without a first down, let alone points. Even the However, the defensive plays set the first half tone. Kyshoen Jarrett's big hit led to Blackmon's pick.

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Turning point: Washington started at New York's 26 following Blackmon's pick and appeared to move the ball inside the 20 on Jamison Crowder seven-yard end around. Instead, Jordan Reed was whistled for the first of his three first half penalties. The holdin call dropped the Redskins back to the 36. The drive stalled and New York blocked Dustin Hopkins' 53-yard field goal attempt.

The takeaway: Despite no Chris Culliver, the secondary came to play. The question was how would they be able to slow down Odell Beckham (2 for 26 in the quarter) enough over 60 minutes. ...Running back Alfred Morris showed good pop early, giving hope that Washington's offense wouldn't be one-dimensional. 

Score: Giants 0 Redskins 0

SECOND QUARTER

Big play: After a quiet first quarter, DeSean Jackson established his presence loudly. Taking advantage of an injury to Giants CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Redskins dialed up a deep pass for Jackson and Kirk Cousins connected with a perfect pass, resulting in a 61-yard touchdown. The duo have connected on plays of 42, 56 and 61 yards over the last three weeks, resulting in two touchdowns.

Turning point: Staked to a 10-0 lead, Washington's defense lead didn't give back any ground, holding New York to 41 yards on its next two drives after Jackson's score. The offense took possession from their own 20 with 5:40 remaining. Nine plays later, Cousins scored on a QB sneak from the 1-yard line on fourth down after an scoring pass to Jamison Crowder on the previous play was overturned. Cousins and running back Matt Jones hooked up for a screen pass on the first play of the drive, resulting in a 45-yard gain.

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The takeaway: The Redskins controlled the half in all aspects. Washington nearly doubled New York's yardage total (238-117), holding Giants QB Eli Manning to 10 of 22 for 91 yards with the two bad luck interceptions. That's a 19.3 QB rating, a far cry from the 124.1 generated by Cousins, who threw for 207 yards. If the Redskins can limit mistakes and take advantage of having the opening possession of the second half, they should be able to overcome a patended Manning rally.

Score: Giants 0 Redskins 17

THIRD QUARTER

Big play: Cousins fumble on the opening possession opened the door for a momentum shift. Manning's 31-yard pass to Beckham, resulting in a 1st-and-goal from Washington's 9-yard line, put comeback fears on high alert. That is until Manning's toss over the middle was intercepted by wide receiver-turned-corner Quinto Dunbar in the end zone

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Turning point: Whether the Redskins sacked Manning or not, the pass rush pressure remained consistent. On New York's final drive of the quarter, Manning went down on his own for apparent fear of being taken down with the likes Ryan Kerrigan in pursuit. 

The takeaway: No third quarter disaster this time for Washington even after the quick turnover. Not much offense generated by Cousins and crew, but the defense remained stout. The Redskins are one quarter away from being tied for first place in the NFC East.

Score: Giants  0 Redskins 17

FOURTH QUARTER

Big play: With thoughts of a 20-0 shutout dancing in the minds of the 77,000 or so on hand, the Giants finally found the end zone when Manning and Rueben Randle connected on a 40-yard touchdown after Hopkins' second field goal. The dagger? This play came on 4th-and 16. Randle also scored in New York's 32-21 Week 3 win over Washington. 

Here's thing: The Giants weren't done with their fourth down magic -- and Beckham was on the verge of busting out his latest jaw-dropping grab. Three plays after Manning completed a 28-yard pass to Will Tye on 4th and 2, he threw Beckham' way in the corner of the end zone.

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The 21-yard touchown cut Washington's lead to 20-14 with 4:57 remaining. 

Turning point: The Redskins were 3 of 13 on 3rd down when Cousins and Reed converted for a 20-yard gain on the 14th attempt. Even though the Redskins punted four plays later, only 29 seconds remained and just 19 when the Giants' offense took the field at their own 16. 

The takeaway: What we know for sure this season is that the Redskins love home cooking. With a loss, the season is basically over. Instead, Washington improved to 5-1 at FedEx Field. Most of all, they improved to 5-6 overall, which isn't impressive, but good enough to tie the Giants for the NFC East lead. Another home game comes next. As Aerosmith's Steven Tyler would say, dream on.

Score: Giants 14  Redskins 20

Next week: Redskins hosts the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football

Ben Standig is the Publisher of Breaking Burgundy. You can find him on Twitter @benstandig and on Google+

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