Sep 25, 2014 10:09 PM
Eli Manning, Giants lead Redskins 24-7 at halftime
The Associated Press
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Eli Manning threw three short touchdown passes to tight end Larry Donnell to help the New York Giants take a 24-7 halftime lead against the Washington Redskins on Thursday night.
Manning's 5-yard TD throw to Donnell about 7 1/2 minutes into the game set up by Washington quarterback Kirk Cousin's fumble was the first time the Giants have scored in a first quarter this season.
Two-time Super Bowl MVP Manning, looking as if he's adjusting well to new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's system, connected with Donnell for a pair of 6-yard touchdown passes in the second quarter, one that came 46 seconds into the period, and the other with 2:16 left.
Donnell, a second-year player with one career TD catch before Thursday, is the first Giants player with three scoring receptions in a half since Amani Toomer did it in December 2002 against Indianapolis.
The NFC East rivals both entered the game at 1-2 and hoping not to fall too far behind the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles in the division so early in the season.
Often operating without a huddle, Manning used a dink-and-dunk style to complete 20 of 24 passes for 209 yards, the three TDs and zero interceptions in the first half. He completed 11 consecutive passes in one stretch, and the incompletions bookending that run were both well-thrown passes that were dropped.
Cousins, starting in place of the injured Robert Griffin III, went 12 of 18 for 131 yards and one TD pass in the half. But he also had his turnover, and another Redskins drive stopped when tight end Logan Paulsen fumbled after catching a pass with about 75 seconds to go in the half.
That one was recovered by cornerback Trumaine McBride at New York's 18, and the Giants drove 71 yards the other way for a 29-yard field goal by Josh Brown as time expired.
Shortly before Paulsen's fumble, Redskins tight end Niles Paul was ruled out for the rest of the game after getting a helmet-to-helmet hit at the end of a 28-yard catch. Safety Quintin Demps, starting in place of the benched Stevie Brown, was called for hitting a defenseless player, tacking on another 15 yards.
Paul stayed on his back on the ground for a couple of minutes, until being helped up. He wobbly walked, with assistance, toward the locker room.
Washington's only first-half score came on a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped by Cousins' 18-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts that made it 14-7 with less than 9 minutes left in the half.
Cousins was 6 for 7 for 68 yards on that drive, with five of those completions coming after Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie limped off with a thigh injury. Rodgers-Cromartie appeared to hurt himself while making a tackle on fullback Darrel Young.