Redskins 14

(1-1, 0-1 away)

Giants 20

(1-1, 1-0 home)

1:00 PM ET, September 19, 2004


1 2 3 4 T
WSH 7 0 0 714
NYG 0 20 0 020

Giants defense rebounds in Week 2

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants' defense presented embattled coach Tom Coughlin with his first game ball. The gift wrapping was courtesy of the Washington Redskins.

Linebacker Barrett Green scored on a 16-yard fumble return and the Giants forced seven turnovers in a 20-14 win on Sunday that was Coughlin's first since taking over as coach in January.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Redskins-Giants: Will this win put an end to all the bickering about "fines" -- at least temporarily?

Of course not! This is New York, and something is always going to be in the news with the New York media. Players are always going to find a way to get their feathers ruffled, and coach Tom Coughlin has done that with a lot of the guys in this locker room. They are used to playing and practicing a certain way, and don't feel like adapting to a different, more abrasive style.

For the most part this is a veteran team that's accustomed to a coaching style that's different from what Coughlin has brought. That's going to cause hurt feelings while Coughlin and the players get to know each other. It's not that big of a deal, but because of where it's happening, it's getting a lot more attention than it probably should.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

"Everybody on this defense felt we didn't perform well last week," Green said, referring to a 31-17 loss to Philadelphia. "This week we felt like we had to send a message to get this team going."

The seven takeaways were the most by the Giants in a non-strike game since 1986 against Washington in clinching the NFC East title. New York went on to win its first Super Bowl.

While few think these Giants are a contender, this was the best they have looked in a while. The win snapped a franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak. New York lost its last eight under Jim Fassel in 2003.

It also took some of the pressure off Coughlin, who has been criticized by players and media for his no-nonsense approach.

"We definitely needed a win with all that was going on around here," defensive end Michael Strahan said. "Winning helps heal some of that."

The loss was Joe Gibbs' first in his second stint as Redskins coach. This one was hard to watch.

Mark Brunell threw an interception and lost a fumble. Halfback Clinton Portis lost two fumbles and backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey threw three interceptions after Brunell left in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.

"Seven!" Ramsey said of the turnovers. "That's almost unheard of in football."

The NFL single-game record is 12.

The turnovers led to 17 points.

"It's not one person, it's all of us," Gibbs said.

Kurt Warner threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Tim Carter and Steve Christie kicked two field goals in a game the Giants had to sweat out despite having a plus-6 edge in turnovers.

Ramsey, who took over in the third quarter, threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Portis with 12:01 to play. He had two other drives into New York territory stopped by interceptions by rookie Gibril Wilson and Brent Alexander.

"I think we confused them a little bit," said defensive tackle Fred Robbins, who also had a forced fumble and an interception. "We kept bringing different things at them and when we needed big plays, we made them."

Washington started well, opening with a flawless 53-yard drive that Brunell capped with a 2-yard TD toss to Chris Cooley.

The Giants, who had one of the worst turnover differentials in the NFL last season at minus-16, were a plus-3 in the second quarter, when they turned a 7-0 deficit into a 20-7 lead.

Robbins, who was signed as a free agent, got a sack and forced fumble that Strahan recovered at the Washington 38.

Warner, who was 22-of-33 for 232 yards, went back to his days with the Rams and went for it all on first down, finding Carter on a deep post pattern to tie the game.

The defense then gave the Giants a 14-7 lead. Safety Shaun Williams hit Portis on a third-and-1 play from the Washington 19 and knocked the ball loose. Green, another free-agent signing, picked up the ball and scored.

Robbins struck again on the Redskins' next series, tipping a screen pass and making a sensational interception and return to the Washington 26.

Christie hit a 38-yard field goal after New York failed to get a first down. He added a 22-yarder just before halftime after Warner led a 72-yard drive.

John Hall had a 41-yard attempt bounce off the upright on the final play of the half.

Washington, which had one turnover in beating Tampa Bay last week, kept giving the ball away in the third quarter.

Portis fumbled at the Giants 30 on the opening drive and Ramsey was intercepted by Alexander in the end zone on third-and-goal from the 7. It came one play after Portis' 2-yard TD run was nullified by a penalty.

"I never played in a game like this. The way we continued getting turnovers was somewhat shocking," said Alexander.

After the game, Coughlin got his game ball.

"It was a lot better than last week, I'll tell you that," Coughlin said.

Game notes

Rookie Reggie Torbor started at strong side linebacker for the Giants with Carlos Emmons (groin) sidelined. ... Redskins DE Phillip Daniels left in first quarter with a groin injury. ... Carter's TD was his first in three NFL seasons. ... Washington LB LaVar Arrington had seven tackles playing with a sore knee. ... Redskins WR Laveranues Coles had nine catches for 100 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 38 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 16 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 38 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 16 yds, 0:00
nygFG4:39Steve Christie 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 0:20
Drive info: 5 plays, 49 yds, 0:50
Drive info: 5 plays, 49 yds, 0:50
Drive info: 10 plays, 53 yds, 5:00
Drive info: 10 plays, 53 yds, 5:00
nygFG0:41Steve Christie 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 72 yds, 2:13