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New York Giants 40 Phil McConkey Color Rush Jersey , Washington Redskins 16. So much praise to hand out after the Giants’ most lopsided victory since a 36-7 win over the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 7, 2014. Can it all fit in one “Kudos & Wet Willies” post? Let’s find out.Kudos to ...Saquon Barkley — What more is there that we can say about the incredible rookie running back? Maybe Eli Manning said all that needs to be said:“He’s a tremendous player, I think we’re starting to figure out that offense runs through him a little bit.”Manning also added this:Barkley ran for 170 yards on just 14 carries (12.1 yards per attempt), including a 78-yard touchdown and a 52-yard just-for-fun run. He is the first rookie in franchise history to crack 1,000 rushing yards (1,124) and has a franchise rookie record 14 touchdowns, surpassing Odell Beckham Jr. and Bill Paschal (13). He also has 1,753 total yards from scrimmage.Eli Manning admitted in the post game that the offense runs through Barkley now. Barkley also embodies the “play for each other” attitude coach Pat Shurmur has been preaching. After uncharacteristically dropping a pass in the first quarter when the game was still scoreless, Barkley apologized to his teammates.“After the drop I went to those guys, I went to the line, the quarterback and the wide receivers and said ‘that series is on me, I’m going to make up for it. I promise you guys.’ And we were able to do that,” Barkley said.In my view, not only does the offense run through Barkley now but this is his team. He makes them go, and his self-less attitude is exactly what coach Pat Shurmur is looking for.Eli Manning — If you wish the Giants had run Manning out of town already, or are fervently hoping they do it at the end of this season Andrew Adams Color Rush Jersey , you might not want to look at the numbers. Not only Sunday, but for the past several weeks. Playing the role of supporting actor to Barkley — and Beckham when he’s healthy — Manning has been thriving with improved blocking and an explosive, and efficient, running game.The Giants have now surpassed 30 points in three of their last four games. They reached 40 points on Sunday (in three quarters) for the first time since their 52-49 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 1, 2015. Manning went a solid 14-of-22 for 197 yards and three touchdowns. He had a 132.2 passer rating. His 6-yard scoring pass to Bennie Fowler was perfectly placed. So, too, was a 30-yard rainbow to Corey Coleman that made him the seventh quarterback in NFL history to surpass 55,000 passing yards. Protected better and asked to complement, not carry, the offense the 37-year-old is showing that he can still play. He is also doing a better job of hanging int the pocket when pressured to deliver some throws.Manning is also enjoying it. Uncharacteristically he even mugged for the cameras a couple of times when Giants’ offensive players struck an end zone pose for photographers after touchdowns with the game in hand.“You know, it’s fun. Those don’t happen all that often in the NFL, where everything is clicking and the defense is getting turnovers. Offensively, hitting a lot of big plays in the run game and a couple in the pass game, scoring in the red zone,” Manning said. “Those things, they don’t happen much so you’ve got to take advantage of it. It’s fun to be in those type of games where everything seems to be working.”What we have seen the past few weeks is what the Giants envisioned on offense. Shurmur said after the game that “years are connected.” Connect the dots from that and it’s getting harder to see the Giants tossing away the progress they are making by starting over with a new quarterback. Giants’ receivers — To be honest Wayne Gallman Color Rush Jersey , my initial thought was simply to give Sterling Shepard a “Kudos.” Forget the measly two catches for 17 yards. He gets one for the toughness he showed blocking on Barkley’s big runs. That’s winning football, and the Giants haven’t had enough of it in recent years.There were, though, several receivers who contributed to a collective effort that helped the Giants replace Odell Beckham Jr. They all deserve recognition for the contributions they made.Fowler had a 6-yard touchdown catch on a crossing route that looked a little like the one Beckham scored on against the Chicago Bears.Russell Shepard worked himself in-between defenders for an 11-yard touchdown catch.Coleman got deep for a 30-yard catch.Evan Engram showed his speed with three catches for 77 yards, most of the damage coming after he caught the ball.The defense as a whole (for three quarters) — There are soooo many players, and plays, worthy of being highlighted that I’m not going to try to pick and choose. Let’s go through it.A run defense that held Adrian Peterson to 16 yards on 10 carries. A pass rush that generated five sacks. Olivier Vernon had 1.5, Lorenzo Cater, Josh Maura and safety Sean Chandler had one, and Kareem Martin split a sack with Vernon. By the way, Martin has played well in recent weeks. Sunday, he had the half-sack, tipped the pass Curtis Riley turned into a pick six and had three quarterback hits.A trio of interceptions, Riley’s pick six, another one for Alec Ogletree and one for Michael Thomas. I’d say Riley’s pick six was easy, but after what we saw last week I’m not going there. As for Ogletree Jon Halapio Color Rush Jersey , that’s five interceptions and now you have to wonder if he will actually get a play at tight end. By the way, I hope you appreciate Thomas for being both a quality player and quality person.The Giants’ defense — for three quarters — did exactly what it was supposed to do. That was take advantage of a weakened Washington offensive line and a quarterback who really had no business starting an NFL game.Giants’ special teams — Aside from a missed extra point by Aldrick Rosas the special teams were — in what is becoming the norm — excellent. Jawill Davis averaged 10.2 yards on punt returns and had a 23-yarder. Quadree who? Riley Dixon actually averaged more net yards punting (43.3) than yards per punt (43.0). For the second straight week the Giants downed a punt at the 2-yard line, with Antonio Hamilton making the play. Rosas made his only two field-goal attempts.Wet Willies to ...The Giants’ fourth quarter defense — What ... was ... that? Until Thomas mercifully restored some order with an end zone interception late in the final quarter the Giants were making Josh Johnson — yes, the ex-Giant who hadn’t thrown a pass that counted since 2013 and had been with the Redskins for four days — look like Randall Cunningham or Michael Vick.The Giants gave up 16 points and 192 yards of offense in the fourth quarter after giving up zero points and less than 100 yards in the first three quarters. The Giants basically shut it down in the final quarter. Everybody got to play and some guys (Kamrin Moore I’m looking at you) showed why they haven’t been playing. Washington Redskins fans have had a rough go in recent weeks, losing two quarterbacks and three straight games. In our weekly ‘5 questions’ segment, Ken Meringolo of SB Nation’s Hogs Haven shows that the bad times have not broken his sense of humor.Ed: What’s the mood in the Washington fan base? Is there still optimism despite three straight losses and being down to a quarterback who has only bee there three weeks, or has everyone jumped into the Chesapeake at this point?Ken: The mood ... is bitter. Our optimism had both of its fibulae broken, and was then butt-fumbled away. The only thing that makes it bearable is the undeniable familiarity we have with this exact feeling. Merry Christmas!!!Ed: This is more of a statement than a question, but I feel awful for Colt McCoy. To wait that long to play again and then get hurt stinks. Do you feel as bad for the guy as I do?Ken: Yes, I do. He even had a contract kicker that was set to kick in with the playing time he was on the verge of getting. Would have netted him as much as $4 million more in salary for 2019. The good news for him is that he is STILL the projected starter next season. Happy Kwanzaa!!!Ed: Aside from quarterbacks, the Redskins have a gazillion or so other guys injured. Who are the most important non-quarterbacks Washington will be missing on Sunday?Ken: Brandon Scherff, Shawn Lavao on the OL (and the top three backups), Quinton Dunbar at CB, Ryan Anderson at LB, and the possibility of Josh Doctson and Morgan Moses. Losing Trey Quinn, aka Mr. Irrelevant Kerry Wynn Color Rush Jersey , actually really, really hurts. I love that guy. Happy Hanukkah!!Ed: The Giants are in last place, yet they are favored Sunday. How do the Redskins, as depleted as they are, earn a victory?Ken: In football? I mean, we need to turn this into a sandwich-making contest or maybe a game of Go Fish. That is our best chance for a victory. Otherwise, I think our best chance is for Jay Gruden to alternate Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson high school-style. We need to have some plays that each one can run and try to use that to our advantage. Merry Non-Denominational Holiday that you may or may not celebrate!Ed: Who are a few players who have been bright spots for Washington as things have gone south the past few weeks?Ken: I would say Adrian Peterson, but he just proved that if he can’t get to 100 yards on his first carry, it ain’t happening. Actually, he has been fun to watch — the Hall of Famer has given us some credibility getting off the bus. The two Alabama boys up front on defense — Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne—have been fun to watch this season. We have asked a hell of a lot from them, and on at least a few Sundays, that have risen to the occasion. Tress Way, our punter, has been a real pleasure to watch, which just much. Happy New Year!! (Please get here as soon as possible!)
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