The New York Giants gave up 409 yards, had trouble moving the ball and fumbled twice deep in opposition territory. What a way to win a game.
The Washington Redskins practically handed the Giants 17 points off four first-half turnovers, allowing New York's sputtering offense and porous defense to escape with a 24-15 victory Sunday night.
"If we win ugly every week, I'll be happy," Giant quarterback Dave Brown said. "I don't care."
The Giants (3-5) had a 24-3 lead at the half. They could have had more, were it not for the two fumbles. In the second half, their offense was unable to sit on the lead, gaining only 57 yards as Washington mounted a comeback.
Brown completed 11 of 22 passes for 139 yards, but 57 of those came on a touchdown pass to wide-open Mike Sherrard in the second quarter. Typical of the night, it took the Giants two tries to make that big play: Chris Calloway was also wide open when he dropped a pass deep over the middle on the previous down.
The tone was set on the game's opening drive. The Redskins (3-6) were moving the ball with ease--48 yards in four plays--when Marc Logan bobbled Gus Frerotte's swing pass into the hands of safety Vencie Glenn, who returned the interception 75 yards untouched for a touchdown.
"You score a touchdown on defense and to give you a seven-point lead on the road, that's huge because they were moving the ball," Giant Coach Dan Reeves said. "All those turnovers were big-time plays."
Frerotte mixed a career-high 345 yards with four interceptions, and the Redskin defense was again plagued by poor tackling.
"We self-destructed both offensively and defensively," cornerback Darrell Green said. "We didn't play Redskin football at all. This loss sets us back from where we wanted to go with this season."
After Glenn's touchdown, Eddie Murray's 47-yard field goal on the Redskins' next series made it 7-3. The Giants came back with a 13-play drive that ended when Rodney Hampton, with a clear path to the end zone, fumbled it away for a touchback.
Three plays later, Frerotte telegraphed a pass while under pressure, giving cornerback Phillippi Sparks an easy interception at the Redskins' 16. But on the next play, tight end Brian Kozlowski fumbled at the 10 to give the ball back.
Frerotte's third interception came when Jamal Duff batted a pass to fellow lineman Michael Strahan, who returned it 62 yards to the Redskins' two. Two plays later, rookie Tyrone Wheatley ran through Stanley Richard's tackle for a one-yard touchdown run to make it 14-3.
"You get one pass tipped up, and one batted and caught," Frerotte said. "It was a strange night."