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Giant Takeaways: Giants Destroy Redskins 40-16

No Odell Beckham Jr. or Landon Collins? No problem for the New York Giants, as they defeated the Washington Redskins 40-16 at FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon.

The Giants got on the board quickly, as Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez’s tipped pass was intercepted by Giants safety Curtis Riley, who took it to the house to put the team on the board. And New York never looked back, as they walked into halftime with a 34-0 lead, thanks in part to three offensive touchdowns in the first half. The Redskins couldn’t get anything going, leading head coach Pat Shurmur to give his starters some rest in the fourth quarter. Yes, it was one of those games for the Giants.

Here are some takeaways from the Giants’ huge win on the road.

Saquon’s Showcase

It was yet another week for Saquon Barkley, who further solidified his stranglehold on the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. The offense has improved vastly now that it is based around Barkley, and it showed.

Barkley helped pad New York’s lead in the second quarter. Barkey utilized exceptional footwork to break away from the Redskins defense, and ran for a 78 yard touchdown. It didn’t end there, as he utilized an impressive 52 yard run to set up the Giants for an eventual Aldrick Rosas field goal before halftime.

The rookie finished his day with 170 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while also catching four passes for 27 yards. It is his fourth-straight game with over 100 yards rushing, and he’s now broke through the 1,000 yard threshold.

Barkley is an exceptional talent, and he’s proving his worth as the second overall pick. Now,  Shurmur is using him as such, and it’s doing wonders for the offense, while also giving them a new identity.

No Odell, No Problem

With Saquon Barkley doing his thing, New York’s pass attack thrived as a result. Even without Odell Beckham Jr. in the lineup, the Giants did just fine without him.

The Giants offense had plenty of opportunities in this game, thanks to the overall poor performance of Sanchez (we’ll get to that later). With the reduced role in the offensive scheme, Eli Manning certainly thrived in it. He picked apart a shaken Redskins defense, as he completed 14 of 22 pass attempts for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Those touchdown passes went to Sterling Shepard, Russell Shepard, and Bennie Fowler. Even Corey Coleman played a factor in the game, which included a huge 30 yard catch in the red zone in order to set up a successful 35-yard Rosas field goal attempt. Even without Beckham, the offense thrived. They will need to keep that up going forward, as it’s unknown when Beckham will be able to return from his bruised quadricep.

Lauletta’s First NFL Game Not Ideal

The time had finally arrived for fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta. With New York up 40-0 in the fourth quarter, Shurmur decided to give Manning the remainder of the game off, and give the rookie a shot. It was the moment everyone had been clamoring for, to finally see what Lauletta could bring to the Giants.

Well, it didn’t go exactly as planned.

Lauletta went 0 for 5 in his NFL game. On his second pass, Lauletta threw a bad interception to Redskins linebacker Mason Foster in the middle of the field, where he faced no semblance of defensive pressure. Passes were overthrown and forced into extra coverage.

Before anyone jumps the gun, it’s hard to make a final determination of a rookie quarterback when they are entering the game in “garbage time.” Lauletta was working with the second string offense. In order to get a true feel of what the 23-year-old can bring to New York, the Giants will have to give him a start in one of the final three games of the season.

Defense Smothers Sanchez, Redskins Offense

The Giants knew what they had to do in order to defeat the Redskins, and that was by putting the ball in Sanchez’s hands.

James Bettcher’s defensive squad completely shut down Washington’s rush attack. Veteran Adrian Peterson was limited to just 16 yards and ten carries, which is one of the worst stat-lines in his career. With Peterson out of the picture, the Giants needed to force one mistake on Sanchez to rattle him. That came off the Curtis Riley pick-six late in the first quarter.

The trauma only continued for Sanchez, as his intended pass for wide receiver Jamison Crowder tipped up into the air, and into linebacker Alec Ogletree’s hands for his third interception in two games. It didn’t end there, as Sanchez was sacked five times by five different Giants players. Those names were Lorenzo Carter (one), Sean Chandler, Kareem Martin (0.5), Josh Mauro, and Olivier Vernon (1.5). Vernon has been playing at a high level recently, and Sunday’s performance proved that. He is no longer hindered by the high ankle sprain from earlier on this season, and has been a dangerous presence on the field.

New York’s stifling defensive effort gave the Redskins no choice but to bench Sanchez for former Giant and first overall pick for the Alliance of American Football, Josh Johnson. While Johnson managed to lead the Redskins to two late touchdowns, Michael Thomas put an end to any late surge, as he picked off Johnson late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Even with Landon Collins done for the season, the defense stepped up as a whole, showing they can play at a high level in his absence.

Giants Eliminated From NFC East Contention

Despite the Giants’ win over the rival Redskins, their playoff chances took a hit.

The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 29-23 in overtime to pad their lead in the division. Now at 8-5 on the year, the Giants were mathematically knocked out of the NFC East race.

While it is a big blow to their playoff hopes, all is not technically lost. If the Minnesota Vikings are to lose on Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks, the Giants will be 1.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot. While it may be an impossible thought, it’s not improbable, as this football season has shown that anything can happen.

What’s Next?

The Giants will return home next Sunday, as they face off against the Tennessee Titans. New York will increase their now 5-8 record to a 6-8 record next week. While the Titans looked strong this past week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, they have proven to be a “Jekyll and Hyde” football team. Some games, they’re good. Other games, they’re bad.

Will the Giants be able to continue their late season surge at the expense of Tennessee? Or will the Titans show up big-time and put an end to any New York playoff plans?

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General Editor and New York Giants Lead Writer.
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