Giving up 480 yards is never an ideal variable to plug into a winning formula. But it can be done.
New York's defense solved that in Sunday's 27-23 victory against Washington, a game in which the Redskins passed for 232 yards and ran for 248. The Giants, however, managed to win the columns that count – points for and points against.
"I guess it's that bend but don't break," said Stevie Brown, who started at safety for the third straight week in place of injured Kenny Phillips. "They might get a few yards, but you don't want to let them get in the end zone. And that's definitely the whole key because if they don't score a lot of points, it obviously makes it harder for them to win the game."
It's just that simple as the Giants entered the week tied for 19th in yards per game allowed, but seventh in opponents' points.
Whatever gets them to 5-2, the Giants will take it.
And "take it" they did. Aside from Eli Manning's two interceptions, the Giants forced four turnovers of their own – three fumbles and Stevie Brown's interception of Robert Griffin III late in the third quarter.
"They were running a crossing route on it," Brown said. "Webby [cornerback Corey Webster] was underneath so he had to put some elevation on it. It went right over, and I just broke on it."
Brown added to the play by returning it 41 yards down to Washington's 35-yard line. Seven plays later, Ahmad Bradshaw punched in a one-yard touchdown run to give the Giants a 20-13 lead in the fourth quarter.
It was the third interception of the season already for Brown, who joined the team this offseason without a defined role on defense. He's filling in nicely.
"I thank my teammates," Brown said. "They allow me to make plays and be on the same page from talking to all of them at the same time. So we're all able to be out there in the right position, and I'm not out there too confused or anything like that. So I give them all the credit."
Despite being on a three-game winning streak, the Giants know they have to shore up the yardage issues moving forward. But some were to be expected Sunday against Griffin, whose offense was as advertised after a week of film.
"It's definitely what I expected," Brown said of Griffin, whose Redskins were 3-for-3 on fourth down conversions. "You've seen plenty of plays on video. He was able to scramble, he was able to make throws on film and that's what he was able to do here today."