Giants beat Redskins: One last look

Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Redskins

12/2/13 in NFL   |   ZacWassink   |   74 respect

Dec 1, 2013; Landover, MD, USA;  New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) hands a wrist band to a fan in the stands after the Giants' game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Giants won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsThey need a lot of help, and they are still in the NFL ICU. The New York Giants are mathematically alive in the playoff hunt, and that's all that matters on the first Monday of December.

Sunday Night Football was a wacky game this time around. New York looked unprepared to play until after the first quarter, the Washington Redskins dropped a 14-point lead and did so in roughly eight minutes, and the final minutes of the contest brought with them one of the strangest referee miscues you'll see in any season. The dream of a nine-win season remains alive and well for the G-Men, a staggering fact considering how the team started out the campaign.

Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Redskins: The refs

You cannot begin discussing this contest without immediately mentioning what occurred in the final minutes of play. The referees massively messed up. There's no denying it, and it is silly for anybody to suggest that the mishap did not affect both the Redskins and the Giants.

That said, fans and analysts alike have to stop pretending that one moment changed the outcome of the game. Washington ultimately went on to get the first down, anyway, and then Pierre Garcon had the ball ripped out of his hands by New York's Will Hill. There's no controversy about it. The better team won.

Washington was wronged. It happens in just about every game. It wasn't a referee who stripped Garcon on the final meaningful offensive play of the game, and suggesting otherwise is selling the Giants short.

Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Redskins: What could have been

Justin Tuck has looked like a pass-rusher reborn in the past two games. He was dominant against the Redskins on Sunday night, picking up four sacks in the winning effort. Tuck has gone from a missing man to the player of old in just two games, leading me to ask the obvious question:

Just how banged up was Tuck during the first half of the season?

It's been a rough campaign for those within the defensive line of the Giants. Jason Pierre-Paul hasn't been 100 percent in nearly two years. Injuries and age slowed Tuck down for much of 2013. The 30-year old is healthier now than at any prior point of the season, which suggests that his play isn't going to diminish between now and the end of the season so long as he avoids any injury bug.

Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Redskins: Reality

5-7 doesn't feel quite so bad when the teams atop the division sit at only 7-5. The truth of the situation is that the Giants are not but two games from being in first place. The Dallas Cowboys hold the tiebreaker thanks to sweeping New York, and the Philadelphia Eagles will possess a tiebreaker over the Giants if they go on to beat Dallas.

What's done is done. The Giants can't go back and get wins over Dallas and Philly. All they can do over the next four weeks is play out the remainder of their schedule.

You saw what this team is made up of on Sunday night. Down 14 points on the road and with little hope for a playoff berth existing, nobody would have overreacted had New York, deflated after the loss to Dallas, phoned it in. That didn't happen, though, and head coach Tom Coughlin and his players all deserve credit for it.

This side is not thinking NFL Draft at the moment, and that is commendable. The Giants are doing right by a fan base that had a rough September and October, which is something the other team that shares MetLife Stadium cannot brag about this holiday season.

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