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New York Giants' 'TNF' Win over Redskins a Complete Team Effort

Patricia Traina@Patricia_TrainaFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 25, 2015

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) celebrates after catching a pass for a touchdown in front of Washington Redskins' Bashaud Breeland (26) during the second half an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day, the New York Giants came up with a much-needed win against a bumbling and stumbling Washington team. 

No, it wasn’t perfect for the Giants, who avoided an 0-3 start and posted their first win against a division opponent. But it was a total team effort from top to bottom.

“It wasn’t easy. Nobody said it was going to be,” said a smiling head coach Tom Coughlin, who then praised Washington for being a good football team despite its three turnovers, two of which were committed by quarterback Kirk Cousins. “But listen, I’m happy to win and that’s the bottom line.”

The Giants should also be happy that all three units contributed, starting with special teams. On Washington’s first possession, running back Rashad Jennings came close to blocking punter Tress Way’s first punt.

Offsetting penalties resulted in a rekick, and on that attempt, Jennings actually got through, blocking the punt that then rolled out of the back of the Washington end zone for the touchback to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.

“He’s probably got 10 blocks,” Coughlin joked. “Where’s your stats? He’s told everybody else. He probably hasn’t told you.  He has about 10 blocks in this league.”

The Giants defense, which welcomed back middle linebacker Jon Beason from a knee injury, also held up well, particularly against the run. New York limited Washington’s running backs to 88 yards on 20 carries, the longest of which was a 26-yard scamper by Chris Thompson. 

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

“Jon being in the middle backer position really gave us outstanding leadership on the field,” Coughlin said. “We still used [Uani’] Unga in a lot of situations, and he’s played well. But the team voted John the defensive captain and for good reason, so when he was out there, he provides the leadership.”

The pass defense held Washington in check with Jayron Hosley starting in place of the injured Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 30 of 49 pass attempts for 316 yards, but he only managed one touchdown to two interceptions and was sacked once.

“I think Hosley did a great job,” said cornerback Prince Amukamara. “I don’t think he saw a lot of action his way, the middle of the field and my side was getting most of the action. I think he’s coming into his own.”

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The biggest boost in this week’s win came from the offense, which botched the ending in the team’s previous two games. Not so much this time, as quarterback Eli Manning and friends got it done with few hiccups.

“I thought we had a good day. I thought we moved the ball real well all day, converted on third downs,” he said.

Manning found a hot hand in receiver Rueben Randle, who finished with seven receptions for 116 yards and a team-long 41-yard touchdown, one of two touchdown receptions thrown by Manning that went for more than 25 yards (the other being a 30-yard reception by Odell Beckham Jr.).

“Rueben played well, played outstanding from the get-go. Had some nice catches, hit him down the right sideline on a little double move,” Manning said.

“Honestly, the touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter, the one-on-one, and he concentrated on that and making that play, big play for us. We need him to play well, and I felt bad the first games hadn’t gotten him as involved as we should’ve, and he’s a big part of the offense.”

While a win is a win, the Giants still have a few ongoing issues they need to iron out. Their red-zone production was lacking—New York converted just one of three attempts inside of the red zone, settling for Josh Brown field goals on the other two.

Special teams also had its annual hiccup, allowing a fourth-quarter 101-yard kickoff return by Rashad Ross that brought the score to its 32-21 final.

For the second week in a row, tight end Larry Donnell didn’t have a good game, dropping a critical third-down pass and then taking a reception up the seam only to leave his feet and spin in the air as he anticipated an oncoming hit from a defender.

Still, a win is a win, and the Giants are only too happy to take this win into a long weekend.

“I never really felt any other way than how I [feel] now,” said Beckham when asked if he felt relief with the win. “It was just two tough losses. At the end of the day we wanted to win them, but as I said, there are 16 games in the season. [We're] 1-2 right now and you just got to keep pushing forward.”  

Patricia Traina covers the Giants for Inside Football, the Journal Inquirer and Sports Xchange. All quotes and information were obtained firsthand unless otherwise sourced.

Follow me on Twitter, @Patricia_Traina