In a matchup of old NFC East rivals there were two teams. Team A came into the game 4-8 missing their All-Pro Wide Receiver and Safety and were clearly looking towards the offseason. The Team B came into the game at 6-6, half game out of a wild card spot and a game behind in the divisional race, albeit with multiple injuries and a newly signed quarterback. And of course Team A defeated Team B 40-16 as you would think.
Team A, the New York Giants, came into today’s game aggressive, energetic, and purposeful. Team B, the Washington Redskins, played one of their worst halves in their 80 plus year history in the first half falling down 31-0. The Redskins looked defeated and for lack of a better term, looked like they quit on Jay Gruden and the staff.
Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was praised for his knowledge of the playbook and terminology, had a horrible game. Sanchez finished with 6 completions on 14 attempts for 38 yards and two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. Add in being sacked five times and that sums up the offense in the first half. The Giants loaded up the box and took Adrian Peterson away who finished with 16 yards on 10 carries.
The defense for the Redskins wasn’t much better. Facing Eli Manning without Odell Beckham Jr., the Redskins allowed running back Saquon Barkley to have a field day. Barkley had three carries for six yards in the first quarter, but in the second quarter Barkley had seven carries for 153 yards and touchdown. The Redskins defense were indifferent on tackling him. Along with the running game the pass defense wasn’t much better. Manning finished 14 of 22 for 197 yards and three touchdowns. The defense looked to have given up after playing very stout in the first quarter.
In the second half after another three and out from Mark Sanchez the Redskins put in backup Josh Johnson. Johnson was able to move the ball using his legs and his feet. Johnson, who was signed on Tuesday, and added a spark that was missing. Johnson finished 11 for 16 for 195 yards, one touchdown and one interception and added 45 yards on 7 carries. Johnson also converted a couple of two point conversions on passes. Johnson’s mobility was a game changer and allowed the offense to breathe.
When asked about his team Coach Jay Gruden did not have many answers. Gruden stated that the team practiced well this week but couldn’t understand why it did not transfer to the game. Gruden when asked about his job security, “my job is in jeopardy every week. I have to do the best I can and get guys ready to play.” Gruden looking exasperated finally answered,” I don’t know.”
The Redskins at one point were 5-2 and 6-3 with a solid lead in the division. They now stand at 6-7, two games behind in the division and a game out of the wild card. The last thing that should be on the team’s mind is the playoffs it should be looking like credible team next week in Jacksonville. The talk has to end and effort from all players on the field must step up. Games like today are when big changes are made. Losing is one thing, getting obliterated at home to a team you dominated two months ago is another. If Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, and staff aren’t already gone, they are certainly on the hot seat now.