- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 11, 2011

As high as the Washington Redskins and their fans were after Sunday’s 28-14 season-opening victory, the losing locker room involved a lot of self-criticism. For the New York Giants, this was a game they lost — not one the Redskins won.

“At the end of the day, we tried to be effective with what we do as a unit,” Giants safety Antrel Rolle said. “I think it is more so about us, and not so much about them.”

Redskins players talked about “something special” going on with their team, while the talk from New York players and coach Tom Coughlin was about opportunities they failed to capitalize on and mistakes made.

There was plenty to be upset about, from the Giants‘ 1-for-10 performance on third downs to Rolle’s unnecessary roughness penalty to kicker Steve Weatherford’s attempt that was blocked by Brian Orakpo.

And yet with a lot of inconsistency — in an ugly first half for both teams — the score was 14-14 at halftime. That’s when the Giants‘ offense sputtered.

“We didn’t move, we looked disorganized,” Coughlin said. “It’s our first game; I liked the effort. I had no problem with that at all. But the execution — particularly the offensive execution — and the ability to defend the pass off of play action was disappointing.

Rolle did give credit to the Redskins for being a “pretty good football team,” but there was a sense that the Giants — already missing defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, middle linebacker Jonathan Goff, and cornerback Terrell Thomas — were gassed late.

But Coughlin wasn’t letting injuries become a source of blame

“No, that’s not acceptable and we won’t made any excuses about that,” he said.

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