LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Ahmad Bradshaw’s two short touchdown runs capped long drives, and the New York Giants completely shut down the Washington Redskins’ offense while taking a 24-0 lead into halftime Monday night.
This was a game between one team doing its best to make a push for the playoffs (New York) and another that just parted ways with the head of its front office (Washington) — and it was quite clear which was which.
Look at the statistics with 4½ minutes left in the second quarter: The Giants had massive advantages in yards (226 to minus-2), first downs (16-0) and time of possession (nearly 21 minutes to under 4½).
Washington’s initial first down came on quarterback Jason Campbell’s 16-yard scramble about 3½ minutes before halftime. But in the final minute of the half, Campbell left with a sprained shoulder after being sacked by Osi Umenyiora. Campbell was replaced by Todd Collins, who completed a 46-yard pass to Santana Moss on his first attempt.
Each of New York’s first four possessions resulted in a score. Each of Washington’s first three possessions went three-and-out — and the Redskins’ home crowd was booing lustily by the second quarter. The jeers grew louder after the final play of the first half, when Washington tried a fake field goal that ended with punter-holder Hunter Smith throwing an interception.
The Giants opened the game with a 16-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up 9:13 and ended with Bradshaw’s 3-yard plunge over the right side on third down. Starting left guard Rich Seubert limped off with a right knee injury after that play, and the Giants said his return was questionable. Kevin Boothe replaced Seubert on New York’s next possession.
As Bradshaw celebrated his TD with a jump and a spike, a couple of snowballs were thrown from the stands and landed near him. The Washington area was pounded by a blizzard that began Friday night, and the Redskins estimated about 25 million pounds of snow were removed from the stadium and its parking lots.
The temperature at the start was 38 degrees, and the Giants mixed runs by Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs with mostly short passes by Eli Manning.
New York’s second drive covered 63 yards in 11 plays and finished with Bradshaw’s 4-yard run less than a minute into the second quarter. The Giants made it 17-0 on Lawrence Tynes’ 38-yard field goal with 8:05 to go. And they went ahead 24-0 on Manning’s 6-yard TD toss to Steve Smith about 3½ minutes later, a score set up by a 45-yard completion to Hakeem Nicks.
Manning was 14 for 21 for 172 yards in the first half.
Nicks later was sidelined by a hamstring injury, and his return was questionable. Redskins offensive lineman Stephon Heyer left with a knee injury.
The Giants were trying to remain a factor in the NFC playoff chase. Win or lose, they were going to end the night trailing the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers in the wild-card standings, but a defeat would really make things dire.
The Redskins, meanwhile, were long ago ruled out of any postseason possibilities. Still, this game represented the first real chance to audition for new front-office boss Bruce Allen, who was hired last week as general manager after Vinny Cerrato resigned.
Allen, son of former Redskins coach George Allen, was at the stadium Monday night, strolling the sideline before kickoff.
He couldn’t have been too pleased with what he saw once the game began.