Giants tarnish Redskins' shiny numbers

Nfl

November 01, 2005|By EDWARD LEE | EDWARD LEE,SUN REPORTER

ASHBURN, Va. -- Clinton Portis has endured rocky outings in his four-year NFL career, but none as painful as the Washington Redskins' embarrassing 36-0 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday.

"I haven't ever been dominated the way we got dominated yesterday, but that happens," the running back said with little emotion yesterday at Redskins Park. He was held to 9 yards on four carries and caught three passes for 13. "This is the NFL. If a team's got your number, they've got your number. Yesterday, the Giants had our number."

New York had all the numbers that mattered in the thrashing of Washington, which has lost three of its past four games. Besides dropping the Redskins (4-3) from a tie for first to a tie for worst in the NFC East, the Giants (5-2) gouged Washington for 262 rushing yards and 36 points - the most allowed by the defense of assistant head coach Gregg Williams.

The Redskins lost nearly every statistical matchup, posting season lows in total yards, first downs and points and season highs in total yards allowed, rushing yards allowed and points allowed.

Ranked second in the league in total offense (387.2-yard average) before Sunday's loss, Washington dropped to 10th (349.7). Although the defense fell just two spots to sixth, the rushing defense ballooned from 15th (108.5) to 25th (130.4).

Perhaps most troubling were the return of costly penalties and drive-killing turnovers. After getting flagged 13 combined times against the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, the Redskins committed 10 penalties against New York.

The offense was called for false starts twice, holding twice and an illegal formation. The defense was guilty of encroachment and a late hit.

After protecting the ball to the tune of no turnovers in the 52-17 rout of the 49ers the week before, Washington turned the ball over four times. The team's minus-9 turnover differential is tied for the second-worst in the league.

"I think turning the ball over has been a real concern of ours," coach Joe Gibbs said. "We bounced back against the 49ers and did a real good job protecting the ball. But as we've seen and talked about almost every week with the exception of 49er week, we've turned the ball over and wound up on the negative side of the giveaway-takeaway ratio. Talking to our players today, we understand, `Hey, you're not going to win games if you're doing that.' "

Things don't get easier. The Redskins play host to the Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) on Sunday night before traveling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2).

At least starting offensive tackle Chris Samuels' sprained right knee is not as serious as the Redskins had feared.

Samuels, who left Sunday's game early in the third quarter, underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam yesterday, which uncovered no significant damage to the ligaments.

"Everything's intact as far as my ligaments. Just a little cartilage roughness, and it caused my knee to flare up a little bit," said Samuels, who said he expects to miss a few practices but should be able to play against the Eagles. "It's a blessing. I just thank God it's not as serious as people thought it was."

Similarly, defensive end Phillip Daniels said his sprained left ankle hurts, but it should not prevent him from playing against the Eagles. The status of starting defensive tackles Cornelius Griffin (strained hip flexor) and Joe Salave'a (plantar fasciitis) is cloudier, and both are expected to be listed as questionable when the team's first injury report is released tomorrow.

With backups Cedric Killings (high ankle sprain) and Aki Jones (sore hamstring) also on the mend, the Redskins could release rookie kicker Nick Novak (Maryland) and sign a tackle this week.

The status of H-back Chris Cooley (hip and knee) and tight end Robert Royal (calf) is unknown.

Notes -- The league announced yesterday that the time of Washington's game against the Buccaneers on Nov. 13 has been moved to 4:15 p.m. from 1 p.m. ... Gibbs acknowledged that linebacker LaVar Arrington played more in the second half of Sunday's game. "I think he played much more, and he's in there a lot," Gibbs said. "That's good news for us. And I hope he's going to make a bunch of plays for us." ... Sunday's loss took a toll on several Redskins' lofty league rankings. Wide receiver Santana Moss, who had been first in the NFL in receiving yards, dropped to second with 777 behind the Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith (797). Quarterback Mark Brunell, who had been first in the NFC with a 98.3 passer rating, fell to fourth at 89.8. And Portis tumbled from fourth to sixth in the NFC with 553 rushing yards.edward.lee@baltsun.com

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