1. How motivated are the Giants? We thought they should be motivated because of the possible playoff berth, but they clearly didn't seem like one. We thought if the Redskins could jump out early they could pull away. But the turnover on the first drive killed that chance. So, too, did the run defense.
2. But what about Tiki Barber? What about him, we said? Ha, silly us. I didn't think the fact that this was his possible swan song would be enough to pull out a victory. Stil don't. But the inability to tackle someone? That hurt Washington. Barber is good, but think of all the backs they've faced over the years and he's the one who now has the most yards rushing against them in Redskins history. Barber ran very strong, but the Redskins really, really helped him.
3. What about the Redskins' motivation? We thought the game still mattered to them and that they were professional. There's some chatter that a few guys quit or did not try as hard. But all we know is they were down 27-7 and nearly rallied for a win.
4. Who is more hurt by the injuries? Both teams were but because of how bad the Redskins' D was, the loss of Marcus Washington and Shawn Springs was a big factor. But given how bad the tackling was all year, even they might not have made a difference. And if Michael Strahan was in the game, he, too, would have made a big difference in the pass rush.
5. Will the Redskins' offense do better than the first game in New York? We said yes. Finally, we were right. Though Ladell Betts didn't crack 100 for the sixth straight game, he did finish with a tough 92 yards. And Jason Campbell did a nice job in the pocket, especially in the second half. The Redskins had trouble running wide on the Giants, as they did in the first game, because the interior linemen could not get to the linebackers. But Betts still had some nice holes.
6. Will Adam Archuleta play at safety? We didn't think so and, surprise surprise there he was in the second half playing some safety. Gregg Williams said he'd like Archuleta back, but come on. Vernon Fox was terrible at safety and he still wouldn't put Arch back in the game. One thing we're tired about with Archuleta is how he now says that he said no one lied to him. We were there; he said it. He might not have meant it the way it was perceived, but he should have known the loaded gun that word would be.
7. What can we expect from Jason Campbell? We thought more of the game, but he was more accurate than in the past. And Campbell again made plays with his legs, with two impressive runs for first downs. And I loved the lofted pass to Antwaan Randle El on the right side in which Campbell stepped up in the pocket and floated one over the linebacker's head to the receiver near the sideline. He wasn't the problem by any means. He didn't come through on the last drive, but part of it was that he kept throwing to David Patten. The two had no rapport whatsoever, yet that's where he kept looking.
8. What's the key for the run game? We thought Casey Rabach had to really control the middle. He did so at times, but he was facing two decent tackles so he lost a few battles as well. Wasn't just him, though, as sometimes it's the guards duty in the zone scheme to take care of them and that was difficult.
9. What's the key defensively? We thought they had to pressure Eli Manning and they really didn't do enough of that. Turns out the key should have been to do something basic, like tackle. Andre Carter did apply some pressure, but we're not going to sing his praise too much today. Why? Because he consistently got blown out in the run game. And raise your arm if you're tired of seeing Sean Taylor's shoulder tackles? Me too.
10. Will the Redskins win? They fooled me to the finish. I figured this was a tossup game and that the Redskins would pull one out, 24-23. I ignored how bad the defense had played and that they were weaker with two starters out. Carlos Rogers can't handle a No. 1 role and there is not one playmaker on defense. Don't say Taylor, either. Until a guy, you know, makes plays he can't be considered a playmaker. And until that's corrected, this defense will struggle. They were historically bad in Redskins' terms and that's why they're 5-11. Remember how hot Williams was at this point last season? He's that cold now.