We all knew about the New York Giants' injuries to the defense. Missing players like Justin Tuck, Terrell Thomas, Osi Umeinyora and Jonathan Goff, we all knew it was going to be tough. Opening in Washington against a division rival on September 11 made it even more difficult. Yet, the loss to the Redskins had more to do with the coaching staff than anything else.
The game came down to four plays. OLB Ryan Kerrigan's outstanding play interception return for a touchdown gave the Redskins the lead they will not relinquish. Kerrigan's ability to avoid the cut block and still intercept the ball shows the talent the Redskins' first-round pick has.
The second play that determined this game was the Giants getting stuffed on fourth-and-1 at the Redskins' 32-yard line. The Giants' running game showed spurts of establishing something but wasn't used enough. The main problem was the telegraphing of where the Giants were going to go with the ball. After moving the ball throughout the game through the air, the Giants brought in a heavy package to ensure, to the Redskins, that Bradshaw was getting the ball.
The third play that killed the Giants was the third down and run stuffing of Bradshaw on a toss sweep when still only down seven. Yet again, the Giants told the Redskins they were running the football with the formation and offensive package they brought on the field. At the time, the defense just stuffed the Redskins for two straight series. With momentum on the Giants side, the play-calling stuffed it. The end result of the drive was a blocked field goal.
The "fourth-and-more" killer play was Antrel Rolle personal foul on a defenseless receiver. Even though I thought and still think it's a bad call, you can't commit that penalty. Just tap him down and the Giants get the ball back and still have a chance to tie the game.
Penalties, special teams and turnovers cost the Giants last year, and Week 1 vs. the Redskins was no different. Coach Coughlin and staff need to open things up and allow their playmakers to make plays on offense.
The defense, even with all the injuries, was able to keep the Giants in the game. After not pressuring Grossman in the first half, Perry Fewell went after him and kept the Giants in the game. Something the offensive side should learn. Just simply go after it.
Hopefully, next week, things will change.