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Monday Mashup From The Giant Insider

The Giants defeated the Washington Redskins, 40-16, on Sunday to improve their record to 5-8 on the season. They were eliminated from the NFC East race but are still very much alive in the wild card hunt.

“Teams beat teams,” head coach Pat Shurmur said after the win. “We came down here as a 4-8 team. I feel like we’re getting better.”

His Giants sure don’t look like the team that opened the season by losing seven of their first eight games. In the first half of the season, before their Week 9 bye, the Giants averaged just 18.75 points per game. Since returning from the bye, they’ve been putting up 31.4 points per game and are 4-1 over that stretch.

“We certainly did not start the year the way we wanted to,” Shurmur said. “But I think we’re playing more in a way that’s evidence that we’re getting better and were on the right track. A game like today just re-confirms what we all believe; that if you play hard and you play for the guy next to you, and you’re happy for everybody making good plays. It feeds on itself and you can have a day like today.”

Sunday was a long time coming….

The Giants’ 24-point margin of victory was their largest since a 36-7 triumph at Tennessee on Dec. 7, 2014, and their largest in a division game since a 45-14 rout of the Redskins in Washington on Sept. 25, 2014.

*The Giants’ 40 points – which were all scored in the first three quarters – was their highest total since a 52-49 loss in New Orleans on Nov 1, 2015, and their highest in a victory since the 2014 win in Washington mentioned above.

The Giants led at halftime, 34-0. It was their highest point total in a half since they led Philadelphia, 35-7, at halftime on Dec. 30, 2012. It was the first time the Giants scored at least 34 points in a first half while shutting out their opponent since Nov. 7, 2010, when they were leading in Seattle, 35-0.

The 34-point halftime lead was the third-largest regular-season advantage in Giants history. On Nov. 29, 1959, they led Washington, 38-0, on their way to a 45-14 triumph. The 2010 game in Seattle is No. 2. The Giants also led Minnesota, 34-0, in the 2000 NFC Championship Game (which they won, 41-0).

Notes

The Giants played the game without two perennial Pro Bowlers in WR Odell Beckham, Jr. and safety Landon Collins. Beckham was hell out of the game with a quad bruise while Collins will miss the remainder of the season with a torn labrum in his shoulder.

The victory dropped the Giants to ninth overall in the NFL, meaning that’s where they’d be selecting if the NFL Draft was held today.

Sunday marked the second game in a row and third time this season the Giants scored a touchdown on an interception return as safety Curtis Riley picked off a Mark Sanchez pass on the nine yard-line and ran it in. Linebacker Alec Ogletree had the first two, on a 15-yard return vs. Tampa Bay and an eight-yard runback last week vs. Chicago.

The Giants, who did not have more than three sacks in any of their first 11 games, recorded five takedowns for the second game in row. Olivier Vernon led the way with 1.5 sacks, splitting one with Martin. Josh Mauro and rookies Lorenzo Carter and Sean Chandler all had solo sacks. It was a career first for Chandler.

Milestones

Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 197 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 132.0 passer rating and rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 170 yards with one touchdown in the team’s 40-16 victory at Washington.

Manning has 55,142 career passing yards and became the seventh quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 55,000 passing yards.

Barkley, who scored on a 78-yard touchdown run, has five scrimmage touchdowns of at least 50 yards this season, the most by a rookie in a single season since Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (five touchdowns in 1998). Only Billy Howton  of the 1952 Green Bay Packers had more such touchdowns as a rookie in a single season (six).

Barkley has 12 games with at least 100 scrimmage yards in 2018, tying Edgerrin James (12 games in 1999) for the second-most games with 100+ scrimmage yards by a rookie in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (13 games in 1983) has more such games.

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