Around the NFL  

 

Eli Manning registers 5 TDs in Giants' rout of Redskins

Print

The NFL moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every week, you could miss it.

Five days ago, there was panic surrounding the New York Giants' offense. There was a quarterback controversy brewing in Washington. That all feels like ancient history after the Giants dispatched the Redskins 45-14 Thursday night in a game that should knock a few wheels off the Kirk Cousins bandwagon. Eli Manning, meanwhile, has rarely looked better.

Manning had five touchdowns and was nearly flawless for much of the night, throwing dimes against an overmatched Redskins secondary. His accuracy was on point and the ball was out of his hand quickly. He even tossed in a few pretty deep throws for the first time all year.

New York's pass protection has been spotless for the last two weeks and their defense has forced nine turnovers in the Giants' two-game run to 2-2.

Cousins experienced a nightmare performance for the entire country to see. After a solid first half of play, Cousins led six possessions in the second half: interception, interception, three-and-out, interception, interception, three-and-out. Throw in a first-half fumble, and his turnovers (five) matched Eli's touchdowns.

Cousins mixed in bad decisions with bad luck and worse accuracy. The Redskins also lost tight end Niles Paul (concussion) and tackle Trent Williams (right knee strain) to injuries. It doesn't get worse than that.

Cousins' turnover problem is not a new phenomenon. He had seven interceptions in five career starts entering the night. He can sometimes get careless with the ball, especially when pressure is on the way. This was a reminder that Cousins is still early in his football development, while Manning is a veteran that is showing increasing acclimation to offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's system.

The Giants' offense can still add injured first-round wide receiver Odell Beckham to the mix. Victor Cruz has topped 100 yards in back-to-back weeks, Rueben Randle is playing well, and tight end Larry Donnell has turned into a legitimate red-zone weapon. (He had three touchdowns Thursday.) New York hasn't just won two games in a row; they dominated Houston and Washington in all phases of the game. After a disastrous preseason and start to the year, they look positively dangerous.

This was a turning point game in the NFC East. The Redskins are now 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the division; they will be playing catchup all season. The night started with word that the Redskins believe Robert Griffin III would accept a backup role if necessary. Cousins will make that a moot point if he plays like this again.

We preview and pick every Week 4 game in the latest Around the NFL Podcast.

Print