AT A GLANCE: After a week headlined by trade news involving defensive starters, the New York Giants held the Washington Redskins in check, but their offensive struggles continued in a 20-13 loss at MetLife Stadium. Big Blue dropped to 1-7 while Washington extended its NFC East lead at 5-2.
UP NEXT: The Giants go on their bye week, which fell directly in the middle of their schedule this year. It will be an extended break as they do not play again until the following Monday night at San Francisco. The Giants-49ers series is tied in both the regular season (16-16) and postseason (4-4), with San Francisco winning their 2017 meeting, 31-21, at Levi's Stadium. C.J. Beathard started that game at quarterback for the 49ers and will likely again after taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 3.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:
*The Giants’ difficulties in the red zone (1-for-4) continued on Sunday. Eli Manning completed his first nine passes only to have his 10th intercepted by D.J. Swearinger – the safety’s first of two interceptions in the game -- at the Redskins 8. The Giants entered Sunday tied for 30th in the red zone, scoring touchdowns on just 42.9 percent of their trips. They were also 2-for-14 on third down and failed to convert a fourth-and-3 in Redskins territory at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The ball went through the hands of tight end Evan Engram for what would have been a first down.
*Going against the No. 3 rushing defense, rookie running back Saquon Barkley was held to 38 yards on 13 carries. He did add nine receptions for 73 yards, including a long of 24. Odell Beckham Jr. led all receivers with 136 yards on eight catches.
*The Giants used the same offensive line combination as last week when Spencer Pulley started at center and John Greco slid over to right guard in place of Patrick Omameh. However, right tackle Chad Wheeler suffered an ankle injury in the second half and was replaced by Brian Mihalik, who made his Giants debut.
*Manning was sacked seven more times on Sunday, bringing the season total up to 31 and putting him on pace for 62 on the season. His career-high is 39 in 2013.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE:
*The Giants this week traded defensive tackle Damon Harrison (to Detroit for a fifth-round choice in the 2019 NFL Draft) and cornerback Eli Apple (to New Orleans for a fourth-round choice next year and a seventh-round selection in 2020). Alec Ogletree became the third defensive starter the Giants had to replace after the middle linebacker and defensive co-captain was ruled out with a hamstring injury. As a result, Nate Stupar was bumped up and made his first start since 2016 with the Saints. He missed a tackle on Adrian Peterson’s seven-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the first quarter. Grant Haley and Sean Chandler also saw their roles increase in the secondary.
*The Redskins didn’t knock on the door again until late in the third quarter when they were looking to add to a 10-3 lead, but that’s when the Giants’ defense injected some life into MetLife Stadium. Safety Landon Collins forced Peterson to fumble behind the line of scrimmage at the Giants 18, and outside linebacker Oliver Vernon returned it 43 yards the other way. The offense was unable to complement the defense and turned it over on downs on the ensuing possession.
*Peterson eventually sealed the victory for the Redskins with a 64-yard rushing touchdown to put them ahead by two possessions with 3:06 left in the game.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:
*Riley Dixon, who entered Sunday ranked sixth in net punting average, had three punts inside the 20, including one downed by Antonio Hamilton at the Redskins 2.
*Rookie Quadree Henderson provided a spark in the return game for the second game in a row. Activated off the practice squad a week ago, Henderson had a 21-yard punt return on Monday night in Atlanta and a 19-yarder on Sunday vs. Washington. The Giants were averaging just 2.8 yards per punt return before he was promoted to the active roster.
*Tae Davis was penalized for running into punter Tress Way midway through the fourth quarter, giving the Redskins a fresh set of downs and an opportunity to run more time off the clock.
IN-GAME INJURY REPORT: NYG – OT Chad Wheeler (ankle). WAS – RB Kapri Bibbs (shoulder, returned), S Troy Apke (hamstring), LB Ryan Anderson (knee), OT Trent Williams (thumb), CB Adonis Alexander (evaluated for possible concussion).
INACTIVES: NYG – LB Alec Ogletree (hamstring), WR/KR Jawill Davis (concussion), QB Kyle Lauletta, DB Tony Lippett, S Kamrin Moore, CB Mike Jordan, C Evan Brown. WAS – WR Jamison Crowder (ankle), CB Quinton Dunbar (shin), RB Samaje Perine, DB Kenny Ladler, C Casey Dunn, OT Geron Christian Sr., WR Brian Quick.
LINEUP CHANGES: NYG – Tae Davis for Ogletree at LB. WAS – Maurice Harris for Crowder at WR, Fabian Moreau for Dunbar at CB.