AT A GLANCE: The New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins, 40-16, thanks to contributions from the youngest -- and oldest -- player on the team. Rookie Saquon Barkley ran for a career-high 170 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown, and Eli Manning threw three touchdowns in the Giants’ fourth victory in five games since the bye week.
UP NEXT: The Giants (5-8) host the Tennessee Titans, who improved to 7-6 with a 30-9 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. Derrick Henry ran for 238 and four touchdowns in that game, including a 99-yarder. The Giants lead the all-time series, 6-5, winning the first five games, losing the next five, and winning the most recent matchup in Nashville in 2014. Mike Vrabel is the second of three new head coaches on the Giants’ 2018 schedule. They defeated Matt Nagy’s Bears in Week 13 and will face Frank Reich’s Colts on the road in Week 16.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:
*Saquon Barkley’s first two touches went for a loss of eight yards. The rookie even had a rare drop early in the game. Well, that only made him angry. The sensational second overall draft choice broke the game open with a career-long 78-yard rushing touchdown to give the Giants a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter. It was his 13th total touchdown, breaking his tie with Beckham and Bill Paschal for the most by a rookie in franchise history. The run moved him past 1,000 rushing yards for the season, and he also recorded his 12th game with 100 yards from scrimmage, one shy of Eric Dickerson’s NFL rookie record. Barkley, who also had a 52-yard run on Sunday, finished with a career-high 170 yards on 14 carries before sitting out the fourth quarter. He also added four catches for 27 yards.
*Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was downgraded to out the day before the game and did not accompany the team on the trip. Beckham, who has 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns (not including his two passing touchdowns), appeared on Friday’s injury report with a bruised quadriceps and practiced on a limited basis. “It’s been lingering,” Shurmur said Friday. “Remember the last play of the game against Philly, where he got leg whipped.” Beckham has played all 16 games just once (2016) in his five-year career.
*Manning completed passes to seven different players and threw touchdowns to three different receivers: Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard, and Bennie Fowler. His 132.0 passer rating was the 12th-best of his career in the regular season. In Week 8, he had his second-best (155.8).
*Tight end Evan Engram returned to game action after missing the past two with a hamstring injury. The second-year pro caught three passes for 77 yards.
*Rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta dressed for the second time this season while Alex Tanney was inactive, the same as last week. With the Giants leading 40-0, Lauletta took over for Manning at the start of the fourth quarter. The fourth-round draft choice threw an interception on his second NFL throw. He did not complete a pass on five attempts.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE:
*The Giants played their first game without two-time Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins, who last week suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery. Veteran Michael Thomas started in his place opposite Curtis Riley, who sparked the rout with a nine-yard interception return touchdown on a tipped pass by Kareem Martin late in the first quarter. It was his third interception of the season and marked the second consecutive game the Giants have scored on a pick-six (Alec Ogletree). It came off the arm of Mark Sanchez, the former fifth overall draft pick by the Jets who made his first start in nearly three years after Washington lost starting quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to injuries.
*Ogletree got back in on the action with his fourth interception in three weeks and fifth of the season, tying Jerry Hillebrand’s single-season record for most by a linebacker in franchise history. He did it in 1963. Thomas made it a three-interception day for the defense late in the game off backup Josh Johnson.
*Like turnovers, sacks have come in bunches for the Giants, who carried a shutout into the fourth quarter on Sunday. They had five sacks vs. Washington to bring their three-game total up to 13. The Giants had just 11 in the first 10 games.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:
*With the Giants missing one of the best receivers in the game and the Redskins on their third quarterback of the season, both teams’ punters were ready for a busy day. Riley Dixon just had a busy first quarter. The Giants punted on their first three possessions, the third of which Antonio Hamilton downed at the one-yard line. It led to Curtis Riley’s pick-six, and that’s what coaches mean when they talk about complementary football.
*Reigning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week Aldrick Rosas made both of his field goal attempts from 35 and 23 yards, but missed one of his five extra points. Rosas has made 28 of 29 field goal attempts this season.
IN-GAME INJURY REPORT: WAS – TE Jordan Reed (foot)
INACTIVES: NYG – WR Odell Beckham Jr. (bruised quad), QB Alex Tanney, DB Tony Lippett, DB Kenny Ladler, C Evan Brown, TE Garrett Dickerson, DT John Jenkins. WAS – QB Colt McCoy (fibula), RB Samaje Perine, RB Kapri Bibbs, LB Ryan Anderson (hamstring), C Demetrius Rhaney, OL Tony Bergstrom (knee/ankle), DT Caleb Brantley.
LINEUP CHANGES: NYG – Russell Shepard for Beckham at WR, Michael Thomas for Collins at SS. WAS – Mark Sanchez for McCoy at QB, Austin Howard for Bergstrom at RG, Ty Nsekhe for Bowanko at LG.