EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Oct. 30, 2005) -- Tiki Barber put the finishing touch on the best running day of his career, then made one of the most important runs for the New York Giants.
"I told him, 'This is for you; this is for your grandfather,' " Barber said after the game. "It was a big day and a special day for me, especially considering the events of the past week. It's something I'll never forget."
The victory was New York's first shutout in seven years and put the Giants atop the NFC East at 5-2.
Barber ran for 206 yards on 24 carries, and the veteran back's 4-yard touchdown run helped him surpass his previous single-game high of 203 yards set against Philadelphia at the end of the 2002 season.
He broke off a 57-yard run on the game's first play to set up the first of Jay Feely's five field goals, and had a 59-yard run later in the first half that led to a 3-yard touchdown by rookie Brandon Jacobs.
Barber, who visited Mara at his home the day before he died, had vowed to McDonnell that he would score a touchdown. He came close on the 59-yarder, but was hauled down at the 1-yard line by safety Ryan Clark.
Washington (4-3), a 52-17 winner against San Francisco a week earlier, managed only 34 yards in the first half and finished with 125. The Redskins didn't cross midfield until the last minute of the third quarter.
"I think we all realized what was at stake," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "We had talked about it all week -- the big ballgame for us, and for them, there was a lot at stake. There was a lot riding on it and we didn't play well. I think we take a long hard look at ourselves, and it certainly starts with me."
Brunell entered the game with the fourth-highest passer rating in the NFL, but finished 11-for-28 for 65 yards and could not solve a secondary that entered the game having given up the second-most yards in the NFL.
The Giants put the game out of reach at the beginning of the second half when Reggie Torbor stripped the ball from Ladell Betts on the kickoff and Willie Ponder recovered on the Washington 23.
Manning threw to Jeremy Shockey over the middle, and the tight end brushed off linebacker LaVar Arrington and dived into the end zone. Feely's extra point made the score 26-0.
Pierce's familiarity with the Washington offense might have helped; Brunell appeared to throw the ball directly to him.
"That's what happens when you know what they are going to do," Pierce said.
Flags flew at half-staff at Giants Stadium in honor of Mara, who was involved with the team since 1925, and there was a moment of silence before Kate Mara, one of his 40 grandchildren, sang The Star-Spangled Banner.
Feely's five field goals tied a career high set for Atlanta against Detroit in 2002. He also missed his first attempt of the season, hitting the left upright on a 51-yarder in the second quarter after making 13 straight.
Redskins LT Chris Samuels left the game with a bruised knee in the third quarter.
Giants S Shaun Williams left the game with a hamstring injury near the end of the first quarter.
The Associated Press News Service
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