The Redskins came to Giants Stadium yesterday on a roll, having racked up 976 yards and 67 points in victories over AFC foes Houston and Jacksonville. They left having gotten rolled by the NFC East rival New York Giants, managing just 164 yards and three points while allowing 411 yards and 19 points.
"It seemed like we didn't have any fire today," receiver Antwaan Randle El lamented. "We were clicking the last two games, but at the same time, it just doesn't happen. Somebody has to make a big play to get it going. We didn't have that today. I don't understand it."
Neither did defensive end Phillip Daniels.
"At halftime (trailing just 9-3 despite being outgained 256-100) we felt we were still in the game," Daniels said. "We needed one play, but that one play never came."
The Giants didn't make a huge number of those plays either, but they produced four catches of at least 20 yards to the Redskins' none, one touchdown to the Redskins' none and three sacks to the Redskins' none.
"We couldn't get anything going," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. "We couldn't get a spark anywhere across the board."
As for his offense, coach Joe Gibbs said, "We really couldn't get a big play, we didn't hold the ball (3-for-11 on third down) and we didn't make first downs (10)."
Safety Adam Archuleta gave a similar rundown on where the defense came up short.
"Great defenses stop the run (the Giants ran for 155 yards), don't give up plays (those four long passes, plus Plaxico Burress' touchdown catch) and get off the field on third down (the Giants were 9-of-16) and we didn't do any of that today," Archuleta said. "We're going to learn a lot about this team in the next few weeks. If we let this loss get us down, then it's a huge step back. But if we respond like men and professionals, we'll look back at this as a learning experience."
The trouble with that idea is the schedule, with Tennessee and Indianapolis up next before the bye.
Washington made the playoffs last year despite going 0-4 against the AFC and went 6-10 in 2004 with that same 0-4 non-conference mark. The difference was that after posting records of 6-6 in the NFC and 1-5 in the NFC East in 2004, the Redskins were 10-2 and 5-1 in those key games last year.
Now after being manhandled in what offensive tackle Jon Jansen called "kind of a statement game," the Redskins are 0-3 in the NFC and 0-2 in the NFC East. And with Washington not meeting another conference/division foe until November, that's a heck of a long time to answer last week's big-time failure.
--DT Joe Salave'a had three tackles in his return to the starting lineup after missing two games with a strained right calf.
--RB T.J. Duckett was active for the first time in three weeks, but didn't see an action for the second time in the three Redskins games for which he has dressed.
--WR David Patten was made inactive when healthy for the first time in his two years as a Redskin. Patten, a starter until suffering a season-ending knee injury last November, has only one catch this season.--DE Phillip Daniels suffered a shoulder stinger in the second quarter but returned after halftime.