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Sunday, September 13, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Giants 23, Redskins 17

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It's been a year since the Redskins and Giants met in the Meadowlands to begin the season. But Sunday's outcome indicated that not all that much has changed.

The Giants raced out to a 17-0 lead before the Redskins finally showed signs of life late in the first half. In reality, it never seemed like the Redskins were truly in the game. Quarterback Jason Campbell wasn't awful Sunday, but he made two costly mistakes in the first half that the Skins couldn't overcome. And credit the Giants' defense with a dominating performance. After missing an entire season with a knee injury, defensive end Osi Umenyiora didn't waste any time making an impact. He caused a fumble by Campbell in the second quarter and then scooped it up and ran 37 yards for a touchdown. That play gave the Giants a seemingly comfortable lead.

The Redskins made a goal-line stand in the first half, but the offense couldn't feed off that momentum. Giants cornerback Corey Webster made a brilliant interception that thwarted one Redskins job in the first half. Overall, the Giants simply had too much firepower on defense. Because of injuries, Giants undrafted rookie cornerback Bruce Johnson had to play a vital role in the nickel package. But the Redskins weren't able to capitalize on the Giants' lack of depth at corner. The Redskins couldn't sustain their running game in the second half, in part, because new defensive tackles Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard wouldn't let them.

I thought it was a pretty inauspicious debut for Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. The Giants were getting rid of the ball so quickly that Haynesworth wasn't much of a factor. He limped off the field a couple of times and looked frustrated most of the afternoon. I'm sure he'll improve as he gets more comfortable in the defense, but there's not a lot of time for that.

Don' t let the final score fool you. The Giants had this one under control from the start.

Tom Coughlin will find plenty to complain about, but he won't apologize for a hard-fought win over a re-stocked division rival. I'll head down to the locker room and try to come up with some solid material. We'll talk soon.