- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 18, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Some Redskins players found extra satisfaction in Sunday’s 23-10 victory over the New York Giants because of what Giants safety Antrel Rolle said after Washington beat them in Week 1.

“We know the Redskins are not a better team than us,” Rolle said. “If we played them 100 times, they might win five.”

That quote made the rounds inside the Redskins Park locker room last week, and players kept it in mind when they took the field.

“He gave us motivation,” Redskins receiver Santana Moss said.

Washington swept the season series from the Giants for first time since 1999. Linebacker London Fletcher laughed when a reporter asked him if Rolle’s comment made the victory sweeter.

“It doesn’t make it not sweet,” he cackled.

A sack for Orakpo, at last

Brian Orakpo usually is a pass-rushing terror, but one glaring statistic belies that. He entered Sunday’s game with 25.5 career sacks, but in 16 games against NFC East opponents, he had only half a sack.

Late in the fourth quarter Sunday, though, Orakpo pulled down Giants quarterback Eli Manning for a 3-yard loss.

“I don’t think about it but it’s reality,” Orakpo said. “I finally got that monkey off my back.”

The sacks came in a flurry after halftime. Stephen Bowen, playing with a tear of the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, sacked Manning for an 8-yard loss in the third quarter. That forced a 44-yard field goal attempt that Lawrence Tynes missed.

“We tried to pin our ears back and go after him,” Bowen said.

Ryan Kerrigan then effectively sealed the victory by sacking Manning on fourth-and-goal from the 12 with 8 minutes, 53 seconds to play.

“We were trying to get him a little unfocused out there,” Orakpo said.

Thomas carted off

Ex-Redskins receiver Devin Thomas, now with the Giants, injured his neck on the final play of the first half. After a collision on kick coverage as time expired, Thomas lay on the turf for more than 10 minutes while a crowd of personnel attended. A marching band scheduled to perform at halftime exited the field without playing a note before Thomas was carted off strapped to a backboard.

Thomas, who did not return to the game, was moving his arms and legs and being evaluated, the Giants said. After the game, Thomas tweeted that he suffered a stinger.

A second-round pick by the Redskins in 2008, Thomas caught one pass for 12 yards this season.

Extra points

• Cornerback Josh Wilson was unavailable to speak postgame because of “head symptoms,” the Redskins said. Wilson was injured in the fourth quarter but returned to the game.

• Rookie Willie Smith started at left tackle and played opposite defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who had 16 tackles and a sack. “It’s a great learning curve for me that I got to go out there and go against somebody like that and definitely a confidence booster, but I still have a lot of work to do,” Smith said.