What We Learned  

 

Six things we learned from Giants' win over Redskins

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants were staring down the bottomless pit that is 0-3 but managed to string together a 32-21 win over the Redskins on Thursday night.

Here is what we learned:

1. Where do we begin with Kirk Cousins? Perhaps it was the two times he missed Jordan Reed wide open in the back of the end zone. Maybe it was him getting blanked on play-action passes (and clearly missing two fake handoffs altogether), leading to two picks. Cousins has now turned the ball over 29 times over his last 17 games, this despite a fine, working offensive line and a budding 6-foot-2, 230-pound star at running back. In eight of his 17 career games, he has two or more picks. Would we be stunned to see Colt McCoy next week?

2. To watch Tom Coughlin on the sidelines Thursday was to see a coach who genuinely does not want to go out this way. Whether or not this is his final season, Coughlin was as animated and celebratory as ever. With a logjam of mediocrity developing in the NFC East, could his perseverance be rewarded?

3. Though his offense has yet to mirror lofty expectations, Ben McAdoo can be fascinating to watch from a bird's eye perspective. The way he uses Odell Beckham to toy with opposing defenses is such an advantage, especially when he waits until the fourth quarter to strike. Beckham is in a different position -- wide left, wide right, slot, slot bunch -- on nearly every play. Washington was allowing him plenty of space off the line, essentially trapping Beckham in a triple team all night long and forcing the Giants to run bubble screens and quick slants. However, they were leaving themselves open for the deep route that eventually turned into a fourth-quarter kill shot. Oh, and by the way, Beckham is the most productive receiver in NFL history through 15 games.

4. It is a shame that Matt Jones will go down as a scapegoat of sorts for this loss. The young power back has plenty of promise, but in a truly Redskinian moment, he fumbled a touchdown mid-air and it landed out of bounds for a touchback. Jay Gruden, though, cannot afford to take the ball out of his hands.

5. A bit of unresolved confusion from Thursday night: The Giants were up 25-6 with 8:07 to go in the fourth quarter and were still firing off timeouts on offense before a third-and-1. This, coupled with more problems getting the snap off, leads us to believe that mechanically, this offense still has a long way to go. Also, the play they called a timeout to draw up went for zero yards.

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