On a night in which Eli Manning was getting the ball out quickly, the Redskins' defense had a hard time forcing the Giants' offense into mistakes.
After two weeks of being the ones to set the tone, the Washington Redskins defense on Thursday night simply couldn't get to New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, allowing him enough time to throw for 279 yards and two touchdowns in their 32-21 victory Thursday night at MetLife Stadium.
"He was getting the ball out quick," said nose tackle Terrance Knighton. "He obviously found something in our defense that he could expose by getting the ball out quick, getting the ball out to the receivers with short gains. They were able to control the clock and convert on third down. We didn't force them into any 3rd-and-longs."
While there were a few plays in which the Redskins forced Manning into situations where he had to release the ball earlier than he would have wanted to, their defense would log no sacks on the night.
For a unit that is constructed to allow the front seven to be aggressive, that's a tough pill to swallow.
"Yeah, it's tough," said Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. "I mean, the ball's coming out quick, and that's what makes their offense tough to play against. Ball's always coming out quick, and it kind of makes it tough for us pass rushers."
Kerrigan said that whenever an offense is predicated on those quick little passes, a defense can slow them down with a few pass deflections from the guys up front.
On Thursday night, they were mostly unable to do that, as the only pass breakups came from Kerrigan and cornerback Bashaud Breeland.
"Just got to try to get your hands up because the balls coming out that quick, unless you're unblocked you're not going to get there and that's what makes it really frustrating," Kerrigan said. "Playing against an offense like that, when the balls coming out so quick and just got to try and get your hands up and try to deflect some passes."
The defense also had difficulty stopping the Giants' offense from getting off the field or creating turnovers, as they had the ball for 31:30 minutes and recorded zero turnovers.
"They did a great job of controlling the tempo of the game," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "They were very positive in third downs, very similar to how we were offensively last week against St Louis. They were like that against us. They were able to convert third downs. They were able to milk the clock and keep us off the field. The big thing is stopping the run, like it always is, and trying to get them to third-and-longs. We didn't get any pressure on Eli. He was comfortable back there. He got the ball out of his hands quick. It's very hard to get sacks when he's throwing the ball so quick."
The unit now must regroup before their next divisional matchup – an Oct. 4 game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField.
Their offense, of course, is predicated on the run game opening up a passing game led by Sam Bradford.
While little has come from the ground for them in the first two weeks, the Redskins know the potential is there to put points on the scoreboard in a hurry.
"Philly's got a fast-paced offense," Breeland said. "Not too many teams running like them. …After this week, we just got to watch film and focus on Philly."
-- PHOTOS: Redskins Take On The Giants
-- Redskins Look To Refresh, Reboot After Loss To Giants