Talk about a reversal of fortune.
One week after trouncing the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 52-17, the Redskins appeared to be almost completely inept in a 36-0 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday.
It was a mistake-filled afternoon at Giants Stadium.
The Redskins' offense turned the ball over four times and managed just 126 total yards of offense, while the defense yielded 262 rushing yards, including 206 yards on 24 carries by Giants running back Tiki Barber.
By game's end, Mark Brunell had been replaced by Patrick Ramsey and Rock Cartwright was at running back. Brunell finished the game 11-of-28 for 65 yards and one interception. Clinton Portis rushed for just nine yards on four carries in the game.
The loss dropped the Redskins' record to 4-3 on the season.
It was the first time the Redskins had been shut out since Dec. 14, 2003, when the Dallas Cowboys handed Washington a 27-0 defeat.
It was the first time the Giants had shut out the Redskins since Nov. 5, 1961, when the Giants defeated Washington 53-0.
Finally, it was the first time a Joe Gibbs-coached team had been shut out since Jan. 11, 1986, when the Giants defeated Washington 17-0 in the NFC Championship Game--also at Giants Stadium.
On the injury front, left tackle Chris Samuels suffered a sprained knee in the third quarter and did not return to the game. He was replaced by Ray Brown. Defensive tackle Joe Salave'a, hampered by a foot injury for the last few weeks, was also removed from the game, and linebacker Chris Clemons was sidelined in the second half with a stinger.
Also, H-back Chris Cooley left the game in the second quarter with a hip injury. He was taken into the locker room for X-rays. He returned to the game in the third quarter.
The Giants were in command from the get-go. Barber got off to a fast start, racing around the left end and down the sideline for a 57-yard gain. Cornerback Shawn Springs made a touchdown-saving tackle, knocking Barber out of bounds at the Redskins' 16-yard line. The play seemed to set the tempo for the afternoon.
On 3rd-and-goal, Chris Clemons came in on a linebacker blitz and sacked Giants' quarterback Eli Manning for an 11-yard loss. In one of the few celebratory moments of the afternoon for the Redskins, the sideline erupted, as the Giants had to settle for a 39-yard field goal by Jay Feely.
Later in the first quarter, the defense stymied another Giants' scoring drive. Manning completed passes to a multitude of receivers in leading the Giants downfield. Deep in Redskins territory, Manning floated a pass to wide receiver Plaxico Burress in the end zone. Safety Ryan Clark leaped up high in front of Burress, who stands at 6-5, and recorded an easy interception.
The Redskins' offense struggled to get going the entire game. Mark Brunell missed on his first two passes and Clinton Portis was shaken up on one play, as the Redskins' offense failed to garner a first down on the first three possessions.
The Giants got on the scoreboard again with a few seconds remaining in the first quarter, taking advantage of an unnecessary roughness penalty on Sean Taylor to get into range for another field goal. Feely connected on a 50-yarder to give the Giants a 6-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the Giants expanded their lead, thanks to another long run by Barber. With the Redskins' Walt Harris coming in on a cornerback blitz, Barber raced around left end, past Harris, and into open field.
This time, it was Clark who made the touchdown-saving tackle after Barber's 59-yard pickup. Clark pushed Barber out of bounds at the Redskins' 1-yard line. One play later, rookie running back Brandon Jacobs burst across the goal line for a touchdown.
And then the turnover bug bit the Redskins again.
Late in the first half, with the Redskins at their own 22-yard line, Santana Moss caught a screen pass and turned up-field. Giants' cornerback Corey Webster caught Moss and stripped him of the ball. Defensive tackle Kendrick Clancy pounced on it--and the Giants were in scoring position again.
The Redskins were able to hold the Giants to another field goal, though. At 16-0, it seemed as if Washington had done enough to stay within reach of the Giants.
But on the Redskins' next offensive possession, Brunell's pass to wide receiver David Patten was intercepted by linebacker Antonio Pierce. That turnover led to another Feely field goal, with six seconds left in the half.
It didn't get any better at the start of the second half. Kick returner Ladell Betts fumbled the opening kickoff and the ball was recovered by the Giants' Willie Ponder. The Giants converted the turnover into another score, as Manning completed a 10-yard strike to tight end Jeremy Shockey for a touchdown.
Later in the third quarter, Barber finished off his stellar afternoon with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Shortly thereafter, Barber departed the game for good, and Gibbs followed suit by removing Brunell and Portis.
The game was out of hand.