Let's get down to business and review the New York Giants' 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday night in our traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies' style. My guess is this edition of 'K&WW' is going to cause a good bit of arguing over some of my choices.
I will just get this out of the way right now, before I even start with my thoughts on individual players. I have seen some comments saying the Giants defense played very well Monday night. I have seen other comments in threads here at BBV saying the defense was awful. The fact that there will be zero defensive players getting 'Kudos' tells you where I come down on this debate.
Fact is, the Giants' defense never really stopped the Redskins' offense. What stopped Washington's offense was the Giants' offense keeping the ball, especially in the first half. When Robert Griffin III was on the field the Redskins pretty much had their way with a Giants' defense that was playing hard, but had few answers for the read option and for RGIII's athleticism.
I wrote this in an earlier post, but Justin Tuck's post-game comment is worth repeating.
"You can play well against them. We could’ve played better, but as far as shutting them down. . . . I don’t know if it’s possible with a dynamic quarterback like him, who can kill you running and throwing," Tuck said.
He paused, then continued.
"Pretty much, you’ve got to get lucky."
Now, on with the 'Kudos & Wet Willies.'
Kudos to ...
Ahmad Bradshaw -- Admit it, this is what you were afraid of. With Andre Brown out for the year, the Giants played Bradshaw ... and played him ... and played him some more, while rookie David Wilson got four carries, seven snaps and was a complete afterthought. Bradshaw was terrific, with 103 yards on 24 carries. He can't keep this up, though. Eventually, the Giants will be forced to trust Wilson -- whether they want to or not.
Martellus Bennett -- He had five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown last night, and now has 44 catches on the season. That is more than Jake Ballard had last season, and more than half the 85 career catches he had in four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
Wet Willies to ...
Zak DeOssie -- An absolutely awful snap caused Lawrence Tynes to miss a field goal. DeOssie had two other poor snaps that holder Steve Weatherford reeled in and placed perfectly. This could easily have been the worst snapping game of DeOssie's career.
Jim Cordle -- Not one holding penalty on kickoff returns, but two. The second one killed a 49-yard return.
Run Defense -- Yes, a lot of this has to do with RGIII just being so stupidly fast, but giving up 207 yards and allowign 6.7 yards per carry will not win football games. Even when the Redskins just ran straight ahead or used their stretch play, which is pretty easy to see coming, the Giants simply could not defend it.
Giants' Defensive Ends -- Yes, the Redskins' offense makes life difficult for defensive ends, but Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka did not get the job done Monday night. Against the run they consistently gave up the edge, and against the pass the four combined to hit Griffin once (by Umenyiora). They had seven tackles between them, none for loss of yardage, and that just isn't good enough for a team that depends on them to make plays.
Kwillies to ...
Eli Manning -- Nice numbers (20-of-33, 280 yards, 1 touchdown) but Manning left a lot of plays on the table Monday night. He underthrew a streaking Hakeem Nicks on what would have been an early touchdown that instead turned into an incompletion. He overthrew Victor Cruz for what would have been another score after Cruz had split two defenders on a go route. The opportunities were there, but Manning just didn't finish them.
Chase Blackburn -- Great effort on a gimpy ankle with six tackles and a forced fumble, but he is the middle linebacker and the Giants got killed by the run so his effort is all I can really praise.