1. Are the Redskins ready? That's what we wanted to know; the answer was a resounding no. They were not ready. They did not play with the same intensity of New York. They sputtered offensively. Their coach is still learning the NFL and it showed, especially in the fourth quarter.
2. Are the Giants better than last year? We thought it was hard to say yes and we're still not certain. Eli Manning was pedestrian, though he made a couple nice throws. Their power running game was outstanding and should have done more in the second half. Their defense was good, but some of that was due to a bad offense they were facing. Are they better? They looked about the same, but maybe with more of a personality as to who they are.
3. Where is New York better? We thought it was at quarterback where Manning was said to be more accurate and confident than 2007. That might be true, but Manning should have been intercepted at least three times. Still, he made a couple clutch throws early in the game that led to points.
4. Will Jason Taylor play? We thought it would be wise to use him on pass downs only. Instead he started and was a three-down end. Here's the problem: the Giants gashed him repeatedly and had no problems running his way. In fact, they relished it. Taylor proved his mettle, but maybe Demetric Evans would have done a better jo b on first and second down.
5. How much worse is the Giants' pass rush? We didn't think it would be a whole lot worse and the Giants generated enough pressure. Some of that stemmed from Jason Campbell's hesitancy in making decision. The first sack was his fault for not getting rid of the ball.
6. Where should the Redskins exploit New York's defense? We thought they should hit the outside linebackers, hoping to get Chris Cooley in good spots. That didn't happen. The Redskins had a hard time with the front four and that enabled the linebackers to run free. Clinton Portis hurt them a little on the ground, but they would take that over any big plays.
7. What are the concerns with Washington's defense? We thought it was the big fullback and running back and the Redskins small ends. Neither is a run-stopper. Guess what happened. The Giants ran their backs outside on 14 of the first 17 plays. They had 13 runs of 3 yards or more in that stretch. It's no coincidence. Taylor is getting used to playing the run on that side and learning to read the tight end. It could be a tough adjustment for him.
8. Anywhere else? We thought the secondary vs. the Giants' receivers. We thought the Giants would go deep more. They didn't, but they still hurt Washington via the pass on third downs. The Redskins had a difficult time with Plaxico Burress' size on the curls and in-routes. No surprise there. It didn9 9t help that Shawn Springs missed with a bruised calf. But getting no pressure from the front or from the blitz also didn't help.
9. Who must come through? We thought Antwaan Randle El on offense and Cornelius Griffin on defense. Randle El finished with seven catches for 73 yards, a good night. But it really didn't matter much. Griffin was a non-factor. The Giants ran too much outside.
10. Will the Redskins win? We picked the Giants to win 23-16. So we were right. The troubling part about this game was that the problems Washington had were exactly what its problems were entering the season. There's no rhythm in the passing game; the defense is not dominant and needs more help and the small ends will result in lots of off-tackle runs. It's only one game, but many questions need to be answered.
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and is a contributing editor for Warpathinsiders.com. He has covered the team since 1994. Some of his other stories can be found at dcexaminer.com
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