Looking back at this game I was very encouraged at what I saw offensively, defensively, and special team wise concerning the Giants in their matchup against the Redskins. Lets first start with the offense and what I saw from last Sunday.
Rush offense: I actually wasn’t that surprise that the offensive line struggle in short line situation when they tried to pick up a yard or two the ground in the their goal line formation. As I mention in a piece I wrote concerning the line, I spoke of how the interior group is not a group with elite strength (for the exception of Chris Snee) that can push defensive lineman off the line scrimmage when they are massive and powerful as well. This is why they always have trouble in these situations where they face defensive lines such as the Eagles (w/ Brodrick Bunkley), Vikings (w/ Kevin Williams & Pat Williams), and especially now with the Redskins (w/ Albert Haynesworth). Brandon Jacobs was only able to manage to get 46 yards on 16 carries, unlike Ahmad Bradshaw who had a much better day with 60 yard on 12 carries. Ahmad's playing style was more effective against the Redskin defense and their slower, but powerful defensive line.
Pass Offense: Even though I already have a lot of confidence in this passing offense (especially Steve Smith), I was pleasantly pleased with what I saw. From the receivers overall I saw quickness, separation, good route running, getting off their jams and making big plays (in relation with what the Redskins were giving up). I was actually a bit surprise with how far the cornerbacks were playing off the receivers and allowing them to get free release. This showed how much respect the Redskins had for the Giants receivers and their speed. There were people who have asked why the Giants didn’t throw down field more and that’s because the Redskins have a safety in LaRon Landry who has a lot of speed, and plays deep center field, making it real hard for receivers to beat the coverage for long passing plays. There were signs of growing pains as well where I counted 3 or 4 drop passes by receivers. Two dropped passes by Hixon (even though it could had been a big passing play if it wasn’t for pass interference), one drop by Nicks (who was wide open in the middle of the field), and another one I believe by Mario Manningham (but I could be wrong). There was also another issue when Manning asked Mario to come in to motion and Mario didn't know what to do, having Eli having to waste a time out in the process. In the end the Giants best receiver on the field and who I believe will emerge with the most yards and receptions will be Steve Smith. He ended the day with 6 catches and 80 yards, making critical plays against a good defense (that definitely didn't look good in this game) and be where he needs to be when Eli throws the ball. On a pass play attended to Smith, Manning's pass was deflected by Landry which lead to an interception. I thought it was all LaRon Landry and his burst of speed that he possessed. To me it didn't look like Eli made a bad decision as much as it was a really good play by a safety. Mario Manningham of course made his fare share of big plays with of course his 30 yard catch and run that went for the touchdown. He ended the day with 3 catches for 58 yards, as well as Kevin Boss and his 3 catches for 62 yards.
Run defense: With the exception for Clinton Portis 34 yard run where Osi Umenyiora didn't slant right with the rest of the defensive allowing for a big opening the defense, the defense held the Redskin running attack in check. By the end of the day the Giants held them to 85 rushing yards with 3 tackles and 9 yards for losses. The Giants were disciplined when it came to reverses being ran, allowing for no yards. Justin Tuck especially made a big play after the Giants turned the ball over and he stop Portis in the back field. Overall the Giants very played really well in this department.
Pass defense: The pass rush was amazing as usually where they were able to get pressure on Campbell throughout the game forcing him to get rid of the ball early and not allowing him to get down field. Justin Tuck had a crucial sack on Campbell after the interception by Eli. Osi Umenyiora had the play of the game where he was able to get by Chris Samuels, slap the ball out of Campbell's hand, scoop it up and take it back for a touchdown (if Campbell had stepped up in the pocket, that play probable would had been avoided). For a team that has injuries in the secondary, I believe they played well and rarely gave up any big plays. To me the Giants played a similar defense to that of when the Giants faced the Patriots in the Super Bowl, where they basically took away their big play threat in Santana Moss, keeping everything in front of them allowing Randle El to catch dicks and ducks, making the Redskins have to work for every yard. Corey Webster especially had a good game where he basically took away Moss and his ability to make plays. He also had one of the plays of the game where he caught an interception on the sideline (even though Moss didn’t put more effort in working back to the ball). Also have to mention C.C. Brown and his touchdown saving tackle on Randle El and his 35 yard catch with no one else in the immediate area. The Giants did give up a touchdown on a 17 yard pass play to Cooley after the Redskins were able to get down the field on 7 plays and 72 yards.
Special Teams: Not much happen on special teams except for the return of Lawrence Tynes and his 3 field goals with his longest being a 45 yard kick. The coverage teams did well for the most part not allow the Redskins to gain any big yardage on their returns. The touchdown that was scored on the fake field goal was not Moss’s fault because the special team coach called for an all out block on the kick allowing for a relatively easy play for the kicker to get in to the end zone.
Coaching: Kevin Gilbride called for the most part a very good game, but he needs to make adjustments when it comes to short yardage situations. Like I mentioned earlier the interior of the offensive line is a group that doesn't have with elite strength. He needs to spread defenses out to be able to run more effectively. Spreading them out will take lineman off the line of scrimmage (especially off across Shawn O'Hara who very strong, relatively speaking). He should also try passing the ball a little bit more and not be as predictable in these types of situations. This issue has been going on for years and it needs to fix finally.