Eli Manning threw for 316 yards! Odell Beckham Jr. had 136 yards receiving! Saquon Barkley had 111 yards from scrimmage! But who gives a pigskin if they can’t score? The Giants were 0-for-3 in the red zone in the first 59 minutes of the game, coming away with just six points. Manning looked slow and immobile on a number of the seven times he was sacked, and his interception in the red zone in the first half was inexcusable. “You’ve got to come off it,” Pat Shurmur said of Manning’s pass intended for Beckham. “They did a good job of covering that route so he needs to move on.” On the times Manning did execute well, he was betrayed by drops from Sterling Shepard (a deep post) and Evan Engram (a fourth-down pass through his hands).
Considering they were without three of their starters – two of them traded and Alec Ogletree sidelined by a hamstring injury – the group played fairly well. They missed some opportunities like dropped interceptions by B.J. Goodson and Curtis Riley, and they missed some tackles like the one by Nate Stupar on Adrian Peterson’s TD reception in the first quarter. They also provided a takeaway that should have resulted in some momentum change but instead led to four offensive snaps and a return to the field. The 64-yard touchdown run by Peterson in the fourth quarter was the only play of more than 25 yards by Washington.
Special Teams: C
Quadree Henderson had a punt nice return of 19 yards late in the second quarter, but the rest of his returns went backward and he finished with 18 total yards. Rookie Tae Davis was flagged for running into the punter, giving the Redskins a first down late when the Giants needed to get the ball back. Riley Dixon put three of his five punts inside the 20 (although not all of them were pretty and benefitted from generous rolls). Washington had zero punt return yards. Aldrick Rosas kicked field goals from 37 and 21 yards.
Pat Shurmur has had eight games to figure out the team’s red zone woes and he’s still scratching his head. He keeps saying the Giants have to score touchdowns as if he has no role in that process. Shurmur left two timeouts on the table at the end of the first half, wiping out any juice from a 19-yard punt return. After swearing all week that the analytics in the last game said he should go for a 2-point conversion when trailing by 8, after the Giants finally did score a touchdown on Sunday to make it 20-12 he kicked the extra point.