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Giants Redskins Halftime Thoughts

The Giants offense looked crisp and smooth as they have a 17-7 at the end of the half. Eli Manning was sharp going  12-16, 138 yards and a touchdown. The running game has been good, not great, but they are establishing a tempo. The offense held the ball for a long time–one of my keys–and that helps to limit Albert Haynesworth.  They’ve had it for 20 minutes and 18 seconds. The Redskins have had it for only 9 minutes and 42 seconds. The receivers are getting open and holding onto the ball. Mario Manningham had an impressive 30 yard touchdown pass, breaking a bunch of tackles.  He led the wideouts with 58 yards in the air, but Steve Smith is also having a big game. The Giants are having trouble in the red zone, n0t being able to convert third downs, and couldn’t convert on a 4th and one near the end zone.

I thought the defense was really good, save for a big run by Clinton Portis. Jason Campbell was not getting much time to throw, and the corners were blanketing the wideouts. The line was getting a good push on the offensive line, and I can’t remember a time where Campbell had time to even look at his options. That’s a very good thing. Osi Umenyiora had a great return to football, stripping Campbell, recovering it, and running 37 yards for the touchdown. The one time that the Redskins were having a semblance of a drive, Corey Webster had an interception. They’re limiting damage when it happens, but luckily, damage hasn’t really hit. The only damage was an eight yard touchdown run on a fake field goal.

Again, the Giants have a problem in the red zone. They haven’t tried to throw it in the end zone, only running the ball up the middle, and Haynesworth is stopping. But because the offense is moving well, they should have more chances to try it again. They have to make adjustments, and try to throw in the end zone, maybe to Kevin Boss.But besides that, they are distributing the ball to multiple receivers, and Eli has looked tremendous on third downs. People will say that the lack of offense in the red zone is due to Plaxico Buress not being there, but I think it’s due to shoddy play calling. They’re calling runs up the middle, and Haynesworth has been sniffing it out all game long. They have to make adjustments.

You have to give credit to the Redskin defense, for limiting the Giants to only 10 points on offense. The Giants were controlling the game, controlling the clock, but the Redskins, led by Haynesworth did a very good job of stopping the G-Men. They’ve been able to stop the running game to a certain extent, but can’t stop the passing game. It’s a bit ironic, though. Running game hasn’t  really gotten it going, but passing game is hitting on all cylinders. I do think that the Giants can’t abandon the run, and if the passing game keeps this up, there will be more holes in the running game. The defense for the Giants should keep up what they’re doing on defense. Campbell has no time to throw, and the corners are doing a good job of covering, showing that the depth there is outstanding. Chase Blackburn has done well in Michael Boley’s absence. Besides that big run by Portis (the first play on offense for Washington) there has been nothing. Absolutely nothing. And remember, this a banged up defense as well. I can only imagine what they’ll be like when healthy.

In injury news,  Danny Ware left the game and is not returning with a dislocated elbow.

Giants fans should be happy. The defense is dominating, flying around the field. The offense is crisp, and save for their problems in the red zone, they have been pretty hard to stop. I think they have silenced critics.

In the second half, look for the running game to get going. They were signs of big plays late in the second quarter, and you can see that they’ll get it going. Other that that, the Giants should just keep it going. Keep hitting receivers. Keep getting pressure on the QB. If they do that, they will be fine. Also, the Redskins have been showing signs of life at the end of the first quarter, and you can bet they will try and build on that. Something to watch for. If the Redskins revert back to their early game troubles, it will be a rout. If they continue to progress, and show the same signs of life in the second half that they did towards the end of the first, it will be a tougher game. Also, with the Redskins scoring late in the half on a fake field goal run, you have to wonder if that gives them momentum heading into the locker room. The Giants have missed some opportunities, but all in all, this has been a terrific start to the season, and it should only get better.

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