LANDOVER – With his teammates by his side, Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins grabbed a turkey leg.
Instead of taking a bite after a huge 20-10 victory over the New York Giants on Thanksgiving, he shared it with his teammates.
In a game where points and long drives were paramount, Washington came through in the clutch with a sense of giving as everyone pitched in and handled adversity to take its first divisional victory of the season.
“Everybody was good. It’s always really pretty when you win,” Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden said. “It doesn’t matter statistically what happened. I think our defense played outstanding. They played a great game of football – stopped the run, played great against the pass and held them without a touchdown.”
After a scoreless first quarter in an old-school defensive slug match, Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas drew first blood with a 30-yard field goal. However, Redskins kicker Nick Rose responded two drives later from 28 yards out to tie the game at three.
Cousins was thankful to see Jamison Crowder come out of his slump when the two connected on a 15-yard touchdown to take the lead for the first time with a little more than three minutes remaining in the second quarter. Crowder hauled in seven receptions for a career-high of 141 yards on the night.
With starting running back Robert Kelley and most recently third-down back Chris Thompson out for the season, rookie running back Samaje Perine strung together two consecutive 100-yard games.
“His vision was really good today,” Gruden said of Perine. “He had some outside zone hits. He stuck his foot in the ground. He was very decisive with his cuts today. They’re not all going to be there. Not all pretty. I tell you what, he ran hard today and he had a great game.”
The Redskins looked like they were going to go up by two scores in the third quarter until Cousins threw a pass that bounced off the hands of running back Byron Marshall and dropped to the Giants’ Janoris Jenkins in stride. Jenkins took it to the house for a 53-yard touchdown to tie the game up at 10.
However, the Redskins defensive unit tightened up down the stretch and gave Giants quarterback Eli Manning fits. Washington defensive end Ryan Kerrigan hurried Manning all game and accounted for two sacks on the veteran signal caller.
“This is pretty darn sweet,” Kerrigan said. “When you can come out here and perform as we did on a Thursday, it’s Thanksgiving, a division opponent and all the hype around it – it’s pretty awesome.”
Cousins then put together an eight-play scoring drive that was capped off by an 18-yard touchdown catch by Josh Doctson on a beautifully placed ball in the back corner of the endzone. Cousins threw for 242 yards and showed poise after throwing a potentially game-changing interception to Jenkins late in the third.
The Redskins’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Giants’ ensuing drive, and then Washington added three more points when Rose nailed his second field goal of the game from 33 yards out with 1:54 remaining in the contest.
Named as the “unsung hero” on the team by Josh Norman, Kendall Fuller closed the door with an interception on New York’s final possession. Fuller now has four interceptions this season.
Washington will have a chance to secure another divisional victory against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 30.