There were smiles everywhere on the Giants sideline, and for good reason. As the waning seconds ticked off New York’s 45-14 victory over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field, the Giants had done just about everything right.
Quarterback Eli Manning scored a combined five touchdowns – throwing three to tight end Larry Donnell – for an offense that gained 449 yards. Defensively, the Giants forced six turnovers and stymied the red-hot Kirk Cousins.
It was the perfect performance for a team in desperate need for just that.
“We were able to get past the previous game very quickly and into this week,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “We played well and did a lot of very good things.”
The Giants (2-2) entered Thursday night’s prime time showdown with the Redskins (1-3) looking to build off their first victory of the season a week ago versus the Houston Texans. After throwing for two touchdowns and completing 75 percent of his passes versus Houston, Manning picked up right where he left off.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP completed 28-of-39 passes, threw 300 yards, tossed four touchdowns and ran for a fifth on the ground. The lone blemish on an otherwise perfect performance was a fluky redzone interception.
On a second and goal at the Washington six yard line, Manning fired a slant pass to wide receiver Rueben Randle. Randle caught the ball, but just as he put his second foot down in the endzone, Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather put a helmet on the ball and popped it into the air. Keenan Robinson intercepted the ball off a deflection.
“We’re starting to get the feel of things,” Manning said. “This offense is starting to click. We’re running the ball really well and the line is doing a great job controlling the line of scrimmage.”
On the Giants first possession of the game, a Victor Cruz drop forced New York to punt. On Washington’s first possession, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka got the ball right back with a sack-fumble of Kirk Cousins that defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins recovered. Six plays later, Manning found Donnell on the first of his three receiving touchdowns.
“We did that a couple times in practice,” Donnell said. “Eli checked to it when he saw the coverage he wanted. He threw it up and I went and got it.”
Donnell, who entered 2014 with just three career receptions and no touchdowns, caught seven passes for 54 yards and three scores versus Washington.
The Giants offense went three and out on their next possession, but then scored on their next three drives. There were two more scores from Donnell, followed by a 29-yard Josh Brown field goal to close out the first half.
Trailing 24-7 at half, Washington attempted a comeback on its first possession of the third quarter. After receiving the second half kickoff, Cousins marched Washington 83 yards on five plays, capped by an Alfred Morris 20-yard rushing touchdown.
Following a Giants punt, Washington got the ball back with a chance to make it a one score game. The Giants defense had other plans. On their next six possessions, the Redskins punted twice and threw four interceptions. Trumaine McBride, Quintin Demps, Antrel Rolle and Prince Amukamara all picked off passes from Cousins.
“With the offense putting the points up on the board, it forced (Washington) to pass the ball more frequently,” Rolle said. “Right now we’re starting to put together some good football on both sides of the ball.”
The Giants then turned those Washington turnovers into 21 points, highlighted by a Daniel Fells’ touchdown reception and Andre Williams’ first career touchdown run.
Game video highlights are available at Giants.com.
The Giants will host the Atlanta Falcons on October 5 at MetLife Stadium at 1:00P.M.
News and Notes
The Giants gained 449 yards on offense and tallied 31 first downs. The Giants held the ball for 37:17.
Victor Cruz caught led the Giants with 108 yards receiving on six catches. Rueben Randle caught eight passes for 89 yards. Defensively, Jacquian Williams led the team with nine tackles. Damontre Moore had his first career sack.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie shadowed wide receiver DeSean Jackson throughout the game’s entirety. He held the former Philadelphia Eagle to one reception for nine yards. Quintin Demps started in place of Stevie Brown.
The 45 points scored by the Giants were the most since the team scored 52 versus the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 9, 2012. Manning’s rushing touchdown was his first since Sept. 11, 2011.
With his second interception in back-to-back games, Amukamara has set a new career high for interceptions in a season.
Not playing for the Giants were WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), LB Jon Beason (foot/ankle), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), DL Kerry Wynn, OT James Brewer (back) and DT Jay Bromley.