- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2006

Maybe the fans still were reeling from the Yankees’ elimination from the baseball playoffs the previous day. Maybe all the emotion expressed during the week petered out by game day.

Whatever the reason, the urgency of an NFC grudge match never materialized. In its place was only a tedium that recalled the mind-numbing meetings of Redskins and Giants teams led by Heath Shuler and Dave Brown.

Neither team reached the end zone until 8:05 had elapsed in the third quarter. There just wasn’t much life the whole afternoon, especially on the Redskins’ side.


The Redskins accomplished this mission, too, not that it mattered. They turned over the ball seven times in their 20-14 loss at Giants Stadium in 2004 and four times in last October’s 36-0 drubbing.

They held on to the ball yesterday; they just didn’t do anything with it when they had it.

Mark Brunell passed for just 49 yards in the first half though the Redskins held a slight edge in time of possession. The Redskins produced only 10 first downs and converted on only three of 11 third downs.


The Redskins fell behind 16-3 midway through the third quarter, but they didn’t totally stop banging Clinton Portis at the Giants’ defense. Portis carried the ball on three of Washington’s next six plays.

However, after Portis gained 4 yards on second-and-5 at the New York 28, associate head coach Al Saunders strangely called a pass on third-and-1. Coach Joe Gibbs then opted not to go for it on fourth down, though less than 17 minutes were left in the game and the Redskins faced a 13-point deficit.

To make matters worse, John Hall’s 42-yard field goal attempt went wide left. That was the Redskins’ last gasp.

David Elfin

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