At New York
50 degrees/ Cloudy
Key Coaching Decision #1: (NYG ball, trailing 10-3 / fourth-and-3, WAS 32 / 14:23 Q4)
• Eli Manning and the Giants attempted a fourth down conversion rather than attempt a longer field goal that, while it would have been a long attempt, was still in kicker Aldrick Rosas’ range. Manning’s fourth down pass fell incomplete. The Giants could have cut into the Redskins’ lead and made this a 10-6 contest. Points might have given the Giants a little confidence.
Key Coaching Decisions #2, 3 & 4: (NYG ball, trailing 20-6 / three fourth-down situations / 2:28 Q4)
• The Giants were successful on three fourth-down attempts late in the game. They converted a fourth-and-12 from their own 28-yard line; with 53 seconds left, they converted a fourth-and-4 from the Redskins’ 30; with 29 seconds left, they converted a fourth-and-3 from the Washington 15. The conversions extended this drive that ended with a Manning to Evan Engram touchdown with 17 seconds left that cut the Redskins lead to 20-13.
• The Giants were 3 of 4 on fourth down yesterday. Good day, right? Not exactly. Those three successful attempts came on their final drive, when the game was essentially out of reach. Washington’s defense wasn’t being aggressive – content to allow a few fourth-down conversions as long as they didn’t give up a quick-strike touchdown. The Giants’ unsuccessful fourth-down attempt came when they were down 10-3 in the third quarter — when the game was still in doubt.
• Context matters when it comes to football stats. Those three successful attempts are irrelevant when it comes to deciding whether the Giants should attempt a fourth down early in game, or in a close game, in the future.
• Remember that when people cite fourth-quarter stats as evidence of the Giants’ fourth-down prowess.
• The Washington defense is playing well. Certainly they played an offense-challenged team in the New York Giants. Yet, they are getting contributions from their key contributors and their reserves. Safety D.J. Swearinger intercepted two passes and defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis had 2.5 sacks, including one late in the first half at the Washington 38-yard line that stopped the Giants from getting into field-goal range.
• Adrian Peterson showed he still has gas left in the tank. He ran for 149 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run that sealed the game for Washington.
• The Redskins have won four of their last five games and three straight games.
New York Giants:
• The Giants fall into their bye having lost five consecutive games, and have been non-competitive in back-to-back home games against division opponents.