The New York Giants lost their first game of the Ben McAdoo era to the Washington Redskins 29-27. This game gave most Giants fans flashbacks of 2015 with a number of mental mistakes that ended up costing the team games. A new year and some of the same mistakes plague this team, even though they had a good start when they were given good field position and a chance to score early in the game after a punt attempt that the Redskins failed to recover after it touched one of their players. Shane Vereen scored soon after to give the Giants the first points of the game.
One of the bright spots all season long for the Giants has been their receiving core and you could argue they have one of the best in the league with Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, and Sterling Shepard.
The biggest surprise out of that group has to be the play of Shepard as he continues to impress everyone in the league. Even as a rookie, he has been the most consistent player for the Giants offense and has looked like a veteran with his route running. Shepard had five catches for 73 yards and a touchdown with his biggest one being the 23-yard score to give the Giants a 14-3 lead in the first quarter.
It looked as if it would be a blowout win because while they were scoring touchdowns, the Redskins were settling for field goals. It wasn’t until Desean Jackson had a 44-yard touchdown catch to cut the Giants lead to 21-16, that you saw this team start to unravel. The most alarming stat in this game was that they committed 11 penalties for 128 yards and if you compound that with committing a bunch of turnovers you won’t win many ball games. Andrew Adams had one of the worst penalties of the day that cost the Giants some points on the board when he was called for a personal foul after Romeo Okwara blocked a punt that would have put them at the Redskins 20-yard line, but instead they did a re-kick.
After what happened last week turnovers was a problem again this week with Shane Vereen continuing the have problems holding onto the football and Eli Manning throwing two bad picks in this game that almost turned into three including one that sealed the game for the Redskins. This loss doesn’t entirely fall on Manning as the previous Redskins possession the Giants defense stopped them on third down, but Olivier Vernon got called for a roughing the penalty to give them an automatic first down. When you continue to make mistakes like that you put a lot of pressure on your quarterback to bail you out and while Eli didn’t play great the offense played good enough to win the game.
Aside from the turnovers, Manning completed 25-of-38 for 350 yards and a touchdown. Even though most people will talk about his little tantrum he had on the sidelines, he won the matchup against Josh Norman having 7 catches for 121 yards. Kirk Cousins completed 21-of-35 for 2 touchdowns and no interceptions for the Redskins. While Jackson was the leading receiver for them with 5 catches for 96 yards, Dustin Hopkins was the player of the game for the Redskins scoring a little over half their points with five field goals.
The better team lost today and they really needed this win today because their upcoming schedule doesn’t do them any favors because in a couple weeks they could go from at one time leading the division to be 2-3 with the Vikings and Packers as the next two games on their slate.