The New York Giants certainly needed a win on Sunday Night Football in week 13 if they wanted to have any chance of making it into the 2013 NFL Playoffs. The fact that they needed to score that win over their divisional rival, the Washington Redskins, only made the task a bit harder and a potential victory a bit sweeter.
The Giants had a hard time getting their running game, particularly Andre Brown going in the contest. Brown ended up in the end-zone twice, but managed just 35 yards on 14 carries on the evening. However, Eli Manning, save for one interception, was steady as he completed 22 of his 28 passing attempts for 235 yards and a score.
Though many will likely praise Manning and deservedly so, the work that the Giants’ defense put in on Sunday night should not be entirely overshadowed. New York’s defense may have surrendered more yards than their offense gained, but they were key in a number of areas.
The Giants let Robert Griffin III get loose running the ball on a number of occasions and allowed him to have a decent night throwing the ball, but one of the big things they were able to do was shut down Alfred Morris. Morris, who came into the game as one of the most consistent backs in the NFL, finished the night accruing just 26 yards on 11 carries, even if he did notch a touchdown run along the way.
More than just limiting Morris, though, the Giants exploited the Redskins’ porous offensive line all night. RG3 was sacked five times on the night and hurried on a number of occasions as well. By getting pressure, the Giants were able to eliminate any real threat of big plays from Griffin and the Redskins.
Obviously the Giants also came through defensively on Washington’s final drive as they forced a fumble to seal the 24-17 victory.
You can talk about how the Giants were getting a lot of friendly no-calls on the night, but they rose to the occasion and delivered on a big stage in a big game for their season. The Giants defense was beat up often early in the season, but has been quite stingy as of late. If they can continue that type of stout play, they could find themselves still in the mix in a still open NFC East race.