On the list of Thanksgiving horrors, Thursday night’s New York Giants-Washington Redskins game ranked somewhere between pre-chewed turkey and political discussions with your angry uncle who’ll tell you exactly what’s wrong with this country. The Redskins won 20-10, but that wasn’t the point. This was an atrocity of football, a game that fulfilled every dire prediction about the NFL transforming from elemental Americana into lurching relic. To call it a turkey of a game would be disrespectful to turkeys on their toughest day of the year.
There were exactly three interesting plays in this game, and all three of them came courtesy of the arm of Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins. First, there was a broken-zone 15-yard dart to Jamison Crowder halfway through the third quarter. Then there was the tip-drill pick-six that New York’s Janoris Jenkins ran back 53 yards. And then, with about three minutes left in the game, there was the game’s solitary true highlight, a 14-yard strike to Josh Doctson, who toe-tapped the Redskins to a decisive touchdown on the edge of the end zone.
Other than that, your backyard Turkey Bowl showed more offensive creativity and defensive wizardry than this garbage fire. Let two numbers tell the story: 10 and 16. That’s the number of sacks and punts, respectively, in this mess. Cousins took six of those sacks, but managed to throw for 242 yards and those two touchdowns. The Redskins show flashes of potential, but only flashes, and at this point that’s enough to thump only truly woeful teams.
Eli Manning, meanwhile, shares a name and a perpetually stunned face, but little else, with the two-time Super Bowl MVP. He threw for just 113 yards, with almost a third of that coming in garbage time, and over- and underthrew receivers all night long. (His receivers were zero help; Evan Engram owes Manning a new car for all the yards he’s cost Eli.) Manning has never looked closer to the end of the line than he did Thursday night, and the Giants have never looked more lost as a team than they have this season.
If you missed this game, if you decided to spend time with loved ones or a second round of turkey and stuffing, we salute you. You made the right choice. Barring a part-the-seas miracle, the Redskins aren’t making the playoffs, and the Giants were mathematically eliminated back around Labor Day. With all due respect to the fine folks who brought this game into our homes, let us agree to forget it ever happened.