Ten Spot Review: Redskins 22, Giants 10

Here is a review of the ten spot and how we did at predicting for the Giants game.

1. We asked: Will the weather be a factor?

We thought it could have been worse, given the forecasts earlier in the week. But the wind was a concern and rightly so. That was horrible and when leaving the stadium after the game, exiting out of one of the tunnels, the gusts were very, very strong. Made you wonder how anyone completed a pass. Todd Collins' pass to Chris Cooley in the end zone was greatly affected. It was hard to pass in rhythm or with any timing. You had to throw it earlier than normal just to get it there on time. Collins' arm strength was a bad fit for this weather. Eli Manning's passes were affected, too. But his inability to put any touch on his short passes didn't help.

2. We asked: What should we expect from Collins?

It was hard to say considering he hadn't started in 10 years. We also thought Sunday night would reveal a lot about him, but it was an unfair night to measure any QB. To Collins' credit, he did not turn the ball over and he usually made the right reads. And he won.

3. We asked: What must the Redskins do with Collins in the game?

We said: Protect the heck out of him. They did. There were some pressures, but considering the apparent mismatches, it could have been worse. In fact, we were expecting worse given Collins' immobility behind a patched-together line. Chris Samuels was often one on one with Osi Umenyiora and only got beaten once, resulting in a hurried throw. But Samuels won this battle. The real pressure came up the middle.

4. We asked: What about the Heyer-Strahan matchup?

Yes, this was supposed to be a tough one. Heyer had some problems in the run game, but the way the Redskins would slant their lines on runs and the way they used him in protection, Heyer wasn't always paired against Strahan, a smart move. But give the kid credit, he wasn't a problem at all.

5. We asked: Did the off weekend help Washington?

We thought it did and they are playing with a lot of energy, evidenced by the defensive effort last night. The Redskins are having fun playing football and given what they went through with Sean Taylor, it's easy to understand why. For many, that's their escape. The question we had was did they have enough left to make a run. The answer is yes.

6. We asked: Will the ground game get going tonight?

We said it had to given the expected conditions. Clinton Portis made sure it worked, too, gaining 126 yards and averaging 5.0 yards a pop. That was Clintonesque. We worried about the NY ends, who play the run well. But the Redskins did a nice job slamming between the guard and tackle and Portis hit the hole as hard as he has all year. Ladell Betts had the best run, the 14-yard scoring run on third and 9. We thought the Redskins would have to run more up the gut because of the ends and the inability to seal the backside. But they had success in many areas.

7. We asked: What must the Redskins do defensively?

That was easy: Pressure Eli. He makes mistakes or sloppy throws under duress. There were times last night when Manning threw to an area where nobody was at. He started throwing with confidence in the third quarter, but that didn't last for a while and his receivers clearly did not help with at least eight drops. The Redskins blitzed him a fair amount, but their safeties also disguised their intentions well and a few times definitely caused Manning to pause a bit after making his initial post-snap read.

8. We asked: Can they handle Plaxico?

We thought it would be up to Shawn Springs to handle him, but it fell on Fred Smoot's shoulders and he responded with an outstanding game. Maybe his best in a couple years. Smoot excelled at taking away the inside passes to him and was athletic enough on some downfield throws to knock away the jump ball throws.

9. We asked: What's up with the linebackers?

Well, we said Rocky has been playing hurt and then he gets …. Injured. We'll find out more about his status today after his MRI. And London Fletcher was OK, but still not as effective as he was earlier this season. H.B. Blades seemingly did a good job as McIntosh's replacement and the coaches also rotated in Khary Campbell, who had a QB pressure and was pretty solid. The linebackers had to produce and they were largely fine. But the Giants did have a good night rushing the ball.

10. We asked: Will the Redskins win?

We wanted to pick the Redskins but just couldn't. Aren't they too banged-up to keep winning? Well, we thought so. And the Giants always seem to win the big game in New York. But the Giants played uninspired, especially compared to the Redskins. Washington continues to show a lot of fortitude this season and deserved to win. Whether or not the Redskins make the playoffs remains to be seen. But a strong finish would do wonders for this franchise heading into the offseason and next year. Given what they've been through, it would be quite an accomplishment.

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