Monday, October 22, 2012

Eli Overcomes Struggles with Late Game Heroics

Sunday, October 20th 2012
Post-Game Re-Cap
Final Score: Washington Redskins: 23 New York Giants: 27
Eli Overcomes Struggles with Late Game Heroics
It was a lackluster afternoon for the Giants in all aspects of the game, but even while struggling they were able to pull out the victory over the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium Sunday afternoon 27-23.  The Giants were able to avoid what would have been a disastrous 0-3 start to their division games this season, moving to 5-2 with sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

The Giants defense struggled at times Sunday afternoon in containing the dynamic Robert Griffin III and the NFL’s leading rushing offense.  Griffin had a strong game through the air and on the ground, completing 20 of 28 passes for 258 yards, two touchdowns and one interception; also adding 89 yards on the ground on nine carries.  Griffin led the Redskins on an improbable drive aided by one of the most impressive plays you will ever see from a quarterback on 4th and 10.  Thankfully for the Giants, Griffin was unable to duplicate that performance after Eli Manning led the offense on a game-winning drive of his own.
Rookie running back Alfred Morris ran all over the Giants as well, gaining 120 yards on 22 carries.  Morris and the Redskins gashed the Giants for big runs continuously, finishing with 248 yards rushing on 38 total carries.
The Giants were able to step up in the second half to take control on the game, forcing a Morris fumble and Griffin interception on back-to-back possessions.  The pass rush was able to get to Griffin, sacking him three times and causing two fumbles, recovering one, in addition to the interception.  Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck all registered sacks on Griffin, with Tuck’s being his first of the season.
Linval Joseph had another strong game as well, quickly becoming one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL.  Against the Redskins, Joseph caused and recovered a fumble; continue his strong junior season with the Giants.  With Chris Canty returning from injury, the Giants rush defense should improve immensely with Canty being paired with Joseph.
Stevie Brown needs to be recognized as well, as he got his third interception of the season and has filled the hole at safety left by Kenny Phillip's injury admirably.  Brown is making the most of his opportunity and is showing Giant fans why the front office didn't rush to bring back Deon Grant; just another example of the front office and coach staff doing thier homework on players and knowing what it is exactly that they have.
Manning once again was the savior with his late game heroics, but those heroics would not have been needed if he had played the way Giant fans have become accustomed to him playing recently. 
Manning missed a wide open Victor Cruz in the first half for what would have been a touchdown and later over threw him again on a bomb pass.  Manning also threw two crushing interceptions, the first of which was intended for Martellus Bennett inside the Giants 20 yard line.  The second was a poor decision by Manning, who threw his second interception of the game the play immediately following Griffin’s fumble, giving the Redskins the ball right back.
But no one will remember the off day for Manning, as he salvaged it all by hitting Cruz in stride for a game winning 77-yard touchdown reception.
A problem for Manning’s struggles against the Redskins may have been from the lack of a running game.  The last two victories for the Giants, against the Browns and 49ers, the run game was clicking and even dominant at times, but against the Redskins it was non-existent. 
Ahmad Bradshaw, who was visibly hyped up and excited throughout the game, showing an enormous amount of emotion, gained only 43 yards on 12 carries, scoring one touchdown.  Bradshaw was seen getting into a heated exchange with head coach Tom Coughlin and later in the game with running backs coach Jerald Ingram.  There is no concrete evidence as to what had Bradshaw so worked up as he was not quoted after the game, so anything said is purely speculation.
The Giants will start preparing Tuesday for another divisional match-up, as they will head down to Dallas to play the Cowboys next week and look to exact some revenge against the team that beat them the opening week of the season.

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