The New York Giants-Washington Redskins NFC East showdown was worth the wait and lived up to the hype as the Redskins defeated the Giants 17-16. This was the 'Skins third consecutive win against a division rival in the second half of the 2012 season.
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and RB Alfred Morris continue to rewrite the rookie record books. This is the first season in NFL history in which a rookie tandem has combined for 2,000-plus yards passing and 1,000-plus yards rushing.
The Redskins had 11 days to prepare for the Monday Night Football showdown. The benefits from the extra days of practice and preparation were on display, both on offense and defense. Among the highlights:
*The Redskins win tonight snapped a 10-game home losing streak on Monday night dating back to 1997.
*With the win, the Redskins upped their record against the NFC East to 3-1. They are 6-6 overall and their playoff hopes are still alive.
*RG3 passed Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton for most rushing yards for a rookie QB in NFL history. Griffin finished the game with 72 yards rushing, including a 46-yard scramble in the third quarter.
*RB Alfred Morris broke a 19-year-old Redskins record for rushing yards in a season by a rookie. (The mark was previously held by Reggie Brooks.) Tonight was Morris' fifth game this season with 100-plus yards rushing. He finished the game with 124 yards on 22 carries.
Giants QB Eli Manning was not under much pressure most of the game. He showed poise and pocket awareness which allowed him to consistently find open receivers downfield. Manning completed 20 of 33 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown.
In the second half, the 'Skins were stronger on both sides of the line of scrimmage—despite a fumble by RB Morris inside the Giants' 10-yard line toward the end of the third quarter. It was the only turnover of the game for both teams.
Defensively for Washington, 15-year veteran LB London Fletcher, who didn't fully participate in practice all week because of a sore ankle, was all over the field making tackles and leveling big hits. He finished with a game-high 12 tackles.
Redskins WR Pierre Garcon was equally impressive in his performance, leading both teams in receiving yards and catches. With clutch catches late in the game and third-down conversions, Garcon finished with eight catches for 106 yards and a TD.
This win for the Redskins certainly improves their chances of winning the NFC East. They play the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys in their last two games of the season—teams they have beaten already this season.
This key victory over one of their fiercest division rivals will further revitalize the Redskins and their fans. This game showed they have the drive to win and will allow them to step up and hold on when they face another "must-win" game.
Washington's 6-6 record may not be that impressive, but the pistol-style offense is working and keeping opposing defenses guessing. With continued success, the 'Skins could see a berth in the playoffs for only the fourth time in 20 years.
The Redskins face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 on Sun., Dec. 9 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
***Statistical information provided by NFL.com. ****
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