NFL players have something known as a "24-hour rule." It comes in handy for the Redskins.
What it means it that when you get beat up as badly as the Redskins did for three hours and 13 minutes Sunday in the Meadowlands--you reflect upon it for a day. Sulk, if you need to. Then move on.
That's basically the situation for the Redskins, who were trounced 36-0 by the Giants. The Redskins have slipped to 4-3 but they really can't afford to dwell on such matters for long. Not with Donovan McNabb, T.O., Andy Reid and Philadelphia due at FedExField Sunday night for what must now be regarded as a pivotal NFC East showdown, even if it's staged as early as the first week of November.
Pick out any stat you'd like. The Giants dominated on their way to taking over sole possession of first place in the NFC East at 5-2.
- Tiki Barber averaged 8.6 yards per rush. He finished with 206 yards on 24 carries.
- The Redskins' offense went from 52 points on Week 7 versus San Francisco to being shut out on Week 8. By the way, Joe Gibbs was correct in suggesting that the 49ers are no pushovers. They surprised Tampa Bay 15-10 yesterday.
- The week after he came close to becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to rush for 5,000 yards in his first 50 games in the league, Clinton Portis was held to just four carries for nine years.
Ray Brown, who stepped in at left tackle for Chris Samuels after Samuels went down with a right knee injury, said he's never played in an NFL game like Sunday's, his 253rd game in the league.
The Giants were inspired to win in the aftermath of the death at age 89 of team owner Wellington Mara. Clearly, they were able to carry out such a noble gesture. From start to finish, the Redskins had no answer.
"Those guys were really up for the game. You could tell that," said Brown, who may be a key figure Sunday night, depending on the results of the MRI Samuels was scheduled to undergo today. "But we really helped them. We just didn't play well at all."
Added Brown: "Really, at this point, all we can talk about is trying to find a way to regroup. We'll regroup from this. We have to, with Philly coming in."
The only consolation for the Redskins was that late on Sunday afternoon in Denver, the Broncos handed Philadelphia a 49-21 setback, which means that the Eagles also are sitting at 4-3 after the first two months of the season.
The last time the Giants shut out the Redskins in a regular-season game was Nov. 5, 1961. That was 53-0 at Yankee Stadium and marked the low point of a 1-12-1 Washington season. In the 1986 NFC Championship game, in the winds of Giants Stadium, New York pitched a 17-0 shutout.
"They beat us. Hats off to them. No excuses," said safety Ryan Clark, who came up with 11 tackles and an interception against his former team.
"They did whatever it took to win," said Lemar Marshall, who led the Redskins' defense with 12 tackles. "It just wasn't Redskins football. Early in the game, we stopped them a few times after they got to the red zone. But we can't let them down there. We need stops early in possessions."
"Really, nothing clicked," said center Casey Rabach. "Too many three-and-outs. We need to look at that film in a hurry, then get past it and get ready for Philly."
Saying it best, perhaps, was defensive tackle Joe Salave'a. After producing six tackles in a game in which he continued to play with a bruised foot, Salavea's said the Redskins need to think about Sunday's events and learn from their mistakes. But at the same time, he suggested that a case of amnesia might not be a bad idea, either.