The Redskins honored one of their best ever on Sunday, inducting the late Sean Taylor into the Ring of Fame at FedExField.
Then they took on the best team in the NFC this season--the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
It's safe to say the Redskins know greatness when they encounter it.
The Redskins lost to the Giants 23-7 at a rain-soaked FedExField, dropping them into third place in the NFC East with a 7-5. The division-leading Giants are now 11-1.
The game was reminiscent of the Week 1 matchup between the two clubs, also won by the Giants 16-7 at the Meadowlands.
Just like the first game, New York dominated on both sides of the ball.
Quarterback Eli Manning got the Giants off to a quick start when he tossed a deep ball to wide receiver Amani Toomer.
Toomer was well-covered by Fred Smoot, but Toomer was able to pull in the pass and fall into the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown catch.
After a 3-and-out by the Redskins' offense, the Giants kept the pressure on.
Manning found tight end Kevin Boss across the middle on a short pass, and then Boss broke a tackle and rumbled downfield for a 24-yard pickup.
On 3rd-and-goal at the Redskins' 7-yard line, the defense stepped up as Anthony Montgomery fought off a block and sacked Manning.
The Giants settled for a 31-yard field goal by John Carney.
Early in the second quarter, the Giants used another big play to get into scoring range.
Manning threw a short pass to running back Derrick Ward, who broke a tackle and raced down the right sideline for a 48-yard gain. He was pushed out of bounds by London Fletcher.
The Redskins' defense stiffened again, as Manning's third-down throw to Toomer in the end zone was off target.
Carney connected on a 38-yard field goal to extend the Giants' lead to 13-0.
The Redskins needed to establish offensive momentum, or risk falling behind further.
Jason Campbell threw a screen pass to Clinton Portis in the flat and he weaved his way downfield for a 15-yard pickup.
On the next play, Campbell threw another screen pass to Ladell Betts, who gained eight yards.
After Betts picked up a first down on a run behind Chris Samuels, the Redskins tried some trickery.
Campbell handed off to Betts on a sweep, but Betts pitched the ball into the arms of Devin Thomas.
Thomas swept around right end and found open field. Jason Campbell was out in front blocking for him and nicked safety Michael Johnson.
At the goal line along the right sideline, Thomas got past Johnson and dove into the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown run.
After struggling so much of the first half, the Redskins were back in the game.
Midway through the second quarter, Hall intercepted a Manning pass to stymie a Giants drive. The Redskins' offense could not capitalize on the turnover, though.
Late in the first half, New York moved into Redskins territory, but with 27 seconds left the Giants opted to go for a 4th-and-1 at the Redskins' 38-yard line.
Manning was stuffed at the line of scrimmage for no gain. Credit goes to Lorenzo Alexander and Chris Wilson for the key tackle.
Early in the third quarter, the Redskins had an opportunity for an interception.
Manning lofted a deep pass, but the receiver pulled up short. The ball sailed to DeAngelo Hall, but he collided with Shawn Springs and the ball fell to the ground.
On the Giants' next drive, running back Brandon Jacobs broke through the line and picked up 23 yards to get the offense moving.
Then Manning completed a 12-yard pass to Domenick Hixon and an 11-yard pass to Ward to get the offense to the Redskins' 2-yard line.
One play later, Jacobs bulldozed across the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run.
Down 20-7, the Redskins needed to respond to stay in the game.
Campbell guided the offense into Giants territory after completing a pair of first-down passes to Randle El and Cooley.
On 1st-and-10 at the Giants' 43-yard line, Campbell dropped back to pass again. Under pressure, he threw a deep pass to Randle El at the goal line.
The ball was slightly under-thrown, and cornerback Aaron Ross stopped in front of Randle El to haul in the interception.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Washington had the ball again. Faced with a 4th-and-1 at their own 39-yard line, the Redskins opted to go for it.
Portis took the handoff and tried to run behind Randy Thomas, but defensive end Justin Tuck got into the Redskins' backfield and tackled Portis for no gain.
The Giants took advantage of the good field position, as Carney kicked a 39-yard field goal to increase their lead to 23-7.
New York's defense could attack Campbell relentlessly now. They dialed up several blitzes and defensive end Renaldo Wynn--the former Redskin--registered a sack.
The Redskins were eventually forced into a 4th-and-6 and Zorn had to go for it. Pressured again, Campbell's pass across the middle to Randle El fell incomplete.
The Redskins host the NFC East-leading New York Giants on Sunday, Nov. 30 at FedExField. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
In a pre-game ceremony, the Redskins will honor the late Sean Taylor as he is inducted into the franchise's Ring of Fame. It will be the first game following the anniversary of Taylor's tragic death at the age of 24, which occurred on Nov. 27 of last year in Miami.
FedExField is a natural grass surface. The stadium seats 91,704.
The first 50,000 fans at FedExField on Sunday will receive a free burgundy and gold Redskins Rally Rag. Fans are encouraged to bring them back for future games.
The Redskins are 3-3 in home games this season. They have lost two consecutive consecutive home games and three of their last four at FedExField.
The Giants are in first place in the NFC East with a 10-1 record. The Redskins are 7-4, tied with the Dallas Cowboys for second place in the division.
The Redskins are 2-2 in NFC East play. In Week 1, in the NFL regular season opener on Thursday night, the Redskins lost to the Giants 16-7 at the Meadowlands.
The Redskins-Giants game will be televised on FOX. Kenny Albert does the play-by-play with color commentary by Daryl Johnston. Tony Siragusa serves as sideline reporter.
On radio, the game will be broadcast locally on ESPN 980. Larry Michael handles the play-by-play with color commentary by Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff. Rick "Doc" Walker serves as sideline reporter.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
|WR||89 Santana Moss||17 Plaxico Burress|
|LT||60 Chris Samuels||66 David Diehl|
|LG||66 Pete Kendall||69 Rich Seubert|
|C||61 Casey Rabach||60 Shaun O'Hara|
|RG||77 Randy Thomas||76 Chris Snee|
|RT||76 Jon Jansen||67 Kareem McKenzie|
|TE||47 Chris Cooley||89 Kevin Boss|
|WR||82 Antwaan Randle El||81 Amani Toomer|
|QB||17 Jason Campbell||10 Eli Manning|
|FB||45 Mike Sellers||39 Madison Hedgecock|
|RB||26 Clinton Portis||27 Brandon Jacobs|
|DE||99 Andre Carter||91 Justin Tuck|
|DT||96 Cornelius Griffin||96 Barry Cofield|
|DT||64 Kedric Golston||98 Fred Robbins|
|DE||55 Jason Taylor||98 Mathias Kiwanuka|
|SLB||54 H.B. Blades||55 Danny Clark|
|MLB||59 London Fletcher||58 Antonio Pierce|
|WLB||52 Rocky McIntosh||59 Gerris Wilkinson|
|LCB||27 Fred Smoot||31 Aaron Ross|
|RCB||22 Carlos Rogers||23 Corey Webster|
|SS||48 Chris Horton||37 James Butler|
|FS||30 LaRon Landry||20 Michael Johnson|
|P||1 Ryan Plackemeier||18 Jeff Feagles|
|K||6 Shaun Suisham||5 John Carney|
|H||1 Ryan Plackemeier||18 Jeff Feagles|
|LS||67 Ethan Albright||51 Zak DeOssie|
|KOR||31 Rock Cartwright||87 Dominik Hixon|
|PR||82 Antwaan Randle El||25 R.W. McQuarters|
The Redskins and New York Giants have played each other every year since 1932, with the Giants leading the series 86-61-4. The two teams have played each other more than any other team in each club's history.
In Washington, the Giants have a 39-37-2 edge in the series.
In Week 1 this season, the Redskins lost to the Giants 16-7 in the NFL regular season opener at Giants Stadium.
Washington fell behind early as the Giants rode a wave of emotion from a pre-game Super Bowl XLII celebration. The Redskins could not catch up, as Jim Zorn's offense was too often stuck in neutral.
Eli Manning finished with 19-of-35 pass completions for 216 yards and one interception (by Fred Smoot). His top target was Plaxico Burress, who grabbed 10 passes for 133 yards.
Clinton Portis led the Redskins with 84 yards on 23 carries. Jason Campbell tossed a 12-yard TD pass to Santana Moss for the Redskins' only points.
The Redskins and Giants have split the season series four times in the last five years.
The Redskins' first-ever game in Washington, D.C., was against the Giants. On Sept. 16, 1937, the Redskins defeated the Giants 13-3 in front of 19,941 fans at D.C. Stadium.
The Redskins and Giants have played just once in the postseason, in 1986 when New York defeated Joe Gibbs's Redskins 17-0 in the NFC Championship game at Giants Stadium. The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl that year.
Coincidentally, when the Giants win the Super Bowl it has meant good fortune for the Redskins.
In the seasons following the Giants' two previous Super Bowl championships, the Redskins swept the season series and went on to win the Super Bowl themselves while compiling a 31-6 overall record.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|REDSKINS 2008 RANKINGS|
|GIANTS 2008 RANKINGS|
FAMILIAR FACES ON THE GIANTS
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was a Redskins personnel intern in 1983. He interviewed for the Redskins head coaching job last January.
Offensive line coach Pat Flahertywas a Redskins tight ends coach in 2000.
Tight ends coach Michael Pope was a Redskins tight ends coach from 1997-99.
Linebacker Antonio Pierce played for the Redskins from 2001-04. He was a backup his first three years, and then emerged as a starter at middle linebacker in 2004. He left the Redskins in 2005 as a free agent.
Defensive end Renaldo Wynn played for the Redskins from 2002-06. A five-year starter at defensive end, Wynn was one of the most popular Redskins among teammates and fans and was very active in the Washington, D.C., community.
REDSKINS-GIANTS NEWS & NOTES
-- Zorn's First Season As Head Coach
Jim Zorn is 7-4 in his first 11 games as Redskins head coach. He is aiming to lead the Redskins to their third winning season in the last four years.
Zorn is looking to become the seventh Redskins head coach to record a winning record in his first year at the helm.
The list of first-year head coaches with winning records includes Ray Flaherty (7-5 in 1936), Dutch Bergman (6-3-1 in 1943), Dudley DeGroot (6-3-1 in 1944), Dick Todd (5-4 in 1951), Vince Lombardi (7-5-2 in 1969) and George Allen (9-4-1 in 1971).
Seven first-year head coaches finished their rookie campaign with a .500 mark, while 12 finished with a losing record.
Through 11 games, Clinton Portis leads the NFL in rushing yards with 1,206 yards this season. His seven touchdowns are tied for ninth most in the league.
The Redskins' run game gets stronger as games move along.
The offense's 437 rushing yards in the fourth quarter are the fourth-most in the league this season. Their 28 fourth quarter first downs are tied for third most in the league.
Portis has been a major factor in closing games for the Redskins this season. His 21 fourth quarter rushing first downs leads the league are are six more than any other player.
Portis won NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors in October.
-- Manning's the Man
Eli Manning went on a hot streak late in the 2007 season and guided the Giants to a Super Bowl XLII championship. He was named MVP of the Super Bowl for his efforts.
Against the Redskins, Manning has been up and down in his career.
Overall, Manning has played in eight games against the Redskins, completing 140-of-280 passes for 1,2492 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions.
Manning's best game against the Redskins was on Oct. 8, 2006, in a 19-3 win. He completed 23-of-33 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown.
Plaxico Burress is Manning's favorite target. Burress has caught 34 passes for 431 yards and two touchdowns in seven games against the Redskins.
Amani Toomer is another Giants player who has had success against the Redskins. In his career, Toomer has caught 78 passes for 1,098 yards and six touchdowns in 22 games.
-- Beasts Of the NFC East
The four teams of the NFC East have combined for a 29-14-1 record.
Their cumulative record is the best among the NFL's eight divisions and includes a 22-7-1 mark outside the division.
The NFC East is one of three divisions, along with the AFC East and NFC South, to have all four of its teams with a .500 record or better.
-- Quiet Ex-Giant
Redskins defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin played for the Giants from 2000-03. He was a second-round draft pick by the Giants in 2000.
Even though he maintains a low profile on the team, Griffin remains a central figure in the Redskins' defense.
When healthy, he has proven to be a dominating force in the middle of the defensive line.
-- Family Ties
Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss is the older brother of Giants third-year wide receiver Sinorice Moss.
This season, Santana has 53 catches for 773 yards and five touchdowns. Sinorice has caught eight passes for 90 yards in limited action.
Santana had 61 catches for 808 yards and three touchdowns in 2007, while Sinorice had 21 catches for 225 yards.
-- Redskins Captains
The Redskins have elected six players as captains for the 2008 season. They wear a black "C" on their jersey during games.
On offense, Jason Campbell amd Chris Samuels are the captains.
On defense, Cornelius Griffin and London Fletcher are the captains.
On special teams, Rock Cartwright and Khary Campbell are the captains.
-- What's Next?
The Redskins travel up I-95 to Baltimore to take on the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 7. Kickoff is 8:15 p.m. ET and the game is broadcast on NBC.
The game has been flexed to the prime time by the NFL. It was originally scheduled as a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.