The 5th Quarter: Giants 24 Redskins 17

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Updated: December 2, 2013
The 5th Quarter

THE GAME TURNED WHEN… the Redskins could not convert a number of great opportunities — with great field position — into points. The last and perhaps most damaging was when safety Brandon Meriweather intercepted Giants QB Eli Manning deep in Giants territory and returned the ball to the New York 12-yard line. The Redskins ran three plays for -3 yards and had to kick a field goal for a 17-14 lead. After taking a 14-0 lead, Washington was outscored 24-3, a meltdown similar to what we saw against the Broncos and the Vikings.

THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN… WR Pierre Garcon ended his awful, nightmarish game by catching a fourth down pass in the right flat for a first down — and then allowing Giants CB Will Hill to strip the ball from him. The Giants took possession and put the knee down to run the clock out.

THE GOOD… I liked seeing the throw to RB Alfred Morris on the first play from scrimmage and two other receptions for Morris. He needs to play more of a role in the passing game.

Later on that first drive, Morris ran for a one-yard TD, the 19th of his career. The TD record for players taken in the 6th round or later is 20, held by Terrell Davis.

Liked the no-huddle to start the game and going for it on fourth down at midfield on the first possession.

Great 14-play opening possession for Redskins, who scored to start the game for the first time this season. Redskins’ first opening-drive TD since Dec. 9, 2012.

RG3 was 5-5 for 57 yards on the first drive, started 12-12 with completions to eight different receivers and he finished with respectable numbers, but made no big plays through the air.

Alfred Morris now has 19 TD in career.. only 1 behind Terrell Davis for most by player drafted in 6th round or later.

The defense started the game with 2 straight 3-and-outs. OLB Brian Orakpo with a sack and a TFL in the first six plays. Later in the second quarter, Orakpo drew a holding call on third down that was declined. Giants moved to double team. In the third quarter, Orakpo came up with a third down sack to force the Giants to punt from their own end zone. Orakpo now has 8.5 sacks this season — tops on the Redskins — and 5.5 in his last four games.

THE BAD… Alfred Morris had only three carries in the second half. That’s unacceptable. In the 2.5 games since halftime of the Eagles game, Morris is averaging less than three yards per carry. Defenses are stacking the line to stop Morris and forcing the Redskins to beat them with the pass. Washington’s offense is not capable of doing it.

The Redskins repeatedly wasted good field position tonight and it came back to haunt them. Penalties, poor pass-blocking, special teams snafus — everything came together for the Redskins again tonight.

In the first half WR Aldrick Robinson got open downfield  for TD – this time on the post – and RG3 went to checkdown to Roy Helu on third and long. Result: punt on team’s second possession. Wasted great field position.

DE Jarvis Jenkins repeatedly crushed on New York’s first scoring drive, as Peyton Hillis and Andre Brown destroyed the left side of the Redskins defensive line.

Kyle Shanahan has run that fullback “sneak” into the ground, so to speak, and defenses are stopping it. Failed at the one yard line and on 3rd and 1 late in the second quarter.

Redskins took a delay of game on 3rd and 4 in the red zone early in the first quarter. No excuse for that.

Santana Moss destroyed a promising third quarter drive with two penalties on one play, a holding penalty that was declined and an unsportsmanlike penalty that put Washington in a 3rd and 18. They punted one play later. But they committed a false start on special teams before they could even punt the ball.

Pierre Garcon is catching a lot of passes, but recently he isn’t catching them in space, leading him to take many rough hits from linebackers.

Inexcusable 15-yard penalty on WR Pierre Garcon for kicking the ball after a third down incompletion in the Giants end zone. It didn’t cost the Redskins because PK Kai Forbath made the kick, but it is further evidence of how undisciplined the Redskins are. It was Washington’s second personal foul penalty of the game, but not the last.  [The first was on Santana Moss.] To make matters worse, the pass was incomplete because Garcon ran the wrong route. If he runs the correct route Griffin throws him a TD pass. The Redskins scoring drive: 4 plays, negative 3 yards.

In addition to running that bad route and the penalty, Garcon also dropped two passes tonight. Then Garcon allowed CB Will Hill to strip the ball from him on a fourth down pass that would have been a first down. The fumble, with 1:25 left in regulation, ended the game.

Washington committed three personal foul penalties tonight. Is there a more undisciplined team in the NFL than the Redskins? I find it difficult to imagine.

More pathetic shenanigans on special teams tonight, as a low snap led to a 10-yard punt by Sav Rocca. However, that 10 yards was entirely wiped out by a holding penalty. So Washington got zero yards on that punt. Both the low snap and the holding penalty were on the same guy, LS Kyle Nelson, playing in place of the injured Nick Sundberg.

RG3 was sacked five times tonight and the Skins have now given up as many sacks by Week 13 (33) as they did all last season. This was the fourth straight game with the Skins giving up at least four sacks. They have lost all four of those games.

Drops by Garcon, TE Logan Paulsen and TE Fred Davis all hurt the offense tonight.

THE UGLY… Washington’s offense in the second half was putrid for the second straight week. Here it was: 

11:50 3 05:09 WSH 10 8 28 Punt
05:03 3 00:38 NYG 12 4 -3 Field Goal
02:39 3 01:45 WSH 45 3 -7 Punt
14:26 4 02:10 WSH 22 3 0 Punt
08:34 4 02:05 WSH 11 5 12 Punt
02:32 4 01:14 WSH 20 8 31 Fumble

The Redskins were outscored 24-3 after taking a 14-0 lead. It’s not the first time the Redskins have fallen apart during a game, allowing a nice lead to completely slip away. It happened against Denver. It happened against Minnesota. It happened again tonight. 

Mike Shanahan called a very stupid challenge to a ball spot in the fourth quarter tonight. It was clear from the replays the Giants gained a first down on a short pass completion, but Shanny challenged it anyway. Predictably, the challenge was rejected and Washington lost the timeout. After the game, Shanny admitted the challenge was a mistake.

The referees badly screwed up the end of the game by giving the Redskins a first down and then taking it away on the final drive of the game. It affected Washington’s play-calling on that drive and the Redskins were understandably outraged by the mistake, which was inexcusable.

THE STUDS… Just one: OLB Brian Orakpo had 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 2 QB  hits. He now leads the team with 8.5 sacks and has 5.5 sacks in his last four games.

THE DUDS… WR Pierre Garcon has nine catches, but they were all short and did not amount to much. Meanwhile, he dropped two passes, ran a bad route in the end zone that turned a touchdown into an incompletion and committed a personal foul penalty when he kicked a football into the stands.

AND IT ALL MEANS… The Redskins are 3-9 and officially eliminated from the playoff race. They have lost four in a row, have failed to beat an NFC East opponent all season and just allowed a 4-7 team to come into FedEx Field and win a game. The offense started off well, but, once again, completely fell apart in the second half. After halftime, Washington racked up a grand total of 61 yards on 31 plays. Four second half drives ended with a punt, one ended with a turnover and one ended with a field goal, but only because the drive began on New York’s 12-yard line. I’m sure there will be plenty of talk about the mistake made by the refs in the final minutes of the game, but the truth is the Redskins had many opportunities to score enough points to win the game no matter what the refs did. Washington repeatedly refused to take advantage of good field position and a lot of points were left on the field. The Redskins are a very bad team. They also appear to be very undisciplined and, once again, they fell apart in the second half. The Redskins offense does something and maybe it works. But when the opposing defense responds to it and stops the Redskins from doing what they were doing well, Washington has no answer. The Redskins do not adjust well. Their opponents adjust to them, but the Redskins have nothing in response.

The talent level on this team is poor and — apart from that egregious $36 million penalty by the NFL — that falls on the head of Mike Shanahan, who picks the players. The Redskins also appear to not be coached very well. They’re a one-trick pony and when that trick is taken away, they go to pieces. They are a bad, bad team and they deserve to be 3-9, eliminated from the playoffs in the first weekend of December.