Giants opt to crush Redskins again, 20-6 Meggett repeat adds to 2-7 frustration

November 15, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- So much for the streak theory.

The Washington Redskins spent last week hoping the victory over the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday night that ended their six-game losing streak would be the springboard for a winning streak.

Instead, it just set the stage for the most frustrating loss in a season full of them, 20-6 to the New York Giants before 76,606 at Giants Stadium.

Quarterback Mark Rypien even threw his helmet to the ground early in the fourth quarter when Desmond Howard couldn't make a sliding third-down catch.

It was that kind of day for the Redskins, who dropped to 2-7, their worst start since 1963 (2-8). The loss also means the Redskins need a 6-1 finish to avoid a losing season.

"We needed this game today," coach Richie Petitbon said. "It was a real big game for us, a tough loss."

The Giants made it look easy -- and boring. They hadn't scored a touchdown in two games, but they opened the game with a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive.

In the second quarter, running back David Meggett threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Chris Calloway -- the Towson State alum also threw one in the first game against the Redskins -- to make it 14-0.

In effect, it was over right then. The Redskins never got any closer. They didn't even get inside the Giants' 30 until late in the third period. They dropped half a dozen passes and couldn't mount any drives.

Not only did they lose, but they also came out of it with a dozen players on their injury list.

"The list is so long it is unbelievable," Petitbon said.

Petitbon even conceded that the Redskins will never know how good they could have been this year.

"We'll never be healthy again [this year]," he said.

On top of the usual football injuries, they lost guard Mark Schlereth after one series with the flu. Vernice Smith, who practiced with the team for the first time Wednesday, had to go the rest of the way.

Petitbon, who was talking about sneaking into the playoffs at 9-7 or 8-8 going into the game, all but admitted they're not going to do it.

"At 2-7, you'd have to classify us as a long shot. We'd have to win the rest of our games."

What they're really playing for now is pride.

Oh yes, they're also playing for their jobs.

The list of people who have to worry about their jobs starts with Petitbon, who has to hope that owner Jack Kent Cooke doesn't blame him for the injury-riddled season.

A lot of veterans also have to worry about their jobs if the Redskins decide to start a rebuilding program at the end of the season.

The Giants, who pounded the Redskins with their big offensive line in their 41-7 win in the first meeting, started out the same way this time.

There was nothing subtle or fancy about it. They ran the ball the first seven plays with Lewis Tillman and Rodney Hampton for 9-, 11-, 3-, 9-, 8-, 5- and 1-yard gains.

Phil Simms completed passes for 5 and 25 yards to move to the Redskins' 4.

Three plays later, after Simms misfired on a third-down pass, the Giants were on the 1 and it appeared they'd have to settle for a field goal.

But defensive lineman Jason Buck was called for holding tight end Derek Brown.

"I was astounded," Buck said. "I did everything we practice. I've got to stand him up and make sure it's not a running play. It was definitely the big call of the game."

It gave the Giants a first down, and Hampton scored the next play.

"With the Giants struggling the last couple of weeks offensively, I think that it helped them a lot more than it hurt us. It gave them confidence," Petitbon said.

Of the call on Buck, Petitbon said, "That would have been a big stop if we had held them to a field goal. When you haven't scored in a long time, you start to doubt yourself."

Giants coach Dan Reeves also saw it as a big play. "It was good to get that score out of the way because you couldn't help but think about not scoring for so many quarters."

On the Redskins' first drive, they got to the Giants' 32 when Rypien overthrew Tim McGee. It went right into the arms of the Giants' Greg Jackson.

"I didn't throw it to the sidelines enough. I threw it too far downfield. Timmy came out of his break at the proper depth and I just didn't put the ball in the right place," Rypien said.

After the teams traded punts, the Giants faced a second-and-16 at the Washington 21 when Simms handed off to Meggett. He faked a sweep and then pulled up to throw a perfect touchdown pass to Calloway.

Cornerback Darrell Green, who was hampered by a sore hamstring, missed the ball when he jumped.

"I wasn't moving very well out there today, but it was just [a] totally awesome [play]," Green said. "Someone asked, 'Could a quarterback have thrown it any better?' and I said, 'What would it have been? Would it have been spinning better or what?' It was a just a great play."

Green laughed when he was asked about Meggett's having done the same thing in the first game.

"If you say that, you're saying we're stupid [for not being ready for it]. We watch film every week and we study. They executed and we didn't. They just did a good job on it."

The Giants did a good job all day and the Redskins didn't.

"We just got beat by a better team today," Petitbon said.

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