In a day that should've been about honoring Sean Taylor's legacy, Plaxico Burress was the topic of conversation in Washington, DC. The Giants wideout accidentally shot himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub on Friday, and not only could he be facing felony charges for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, but his NFL career is probably over. It's just too bad the news comes 13 weeks after the organization signed him to a five-year, $35 million contract extension, including an $11 million signing bonus.
As for the Giants, they'll be fine; Domenik Hixon was solid if not spectacular in Burress' place, and he managed to make it through the day without putting a hole in his thigh. In soggy, cold conditions just outside the nation's capital, New York's offense had little trouble moving the ball, and quarterback Eli Manning's 239 first-half passing yards was a personal record.
New York only led 13-7 after the first 30 minutes, but marched 48 yards to a 20-7 lead on their second possession of the third quarter thanks to precision Manning throws and bruising Brandon Jacobs runs. Aaron Ross intercepted quarterback Jason Campbell at the Redskins' one-yard line on the following possession, and New York would end up controlling the ball for more than 11 minutes for the quarter.
In the final 15 minutes, New York's defense, like they've done 11 times this season, took over the game. With just over nine minutes to go, the Giants tackled Clinton Portis for a big fourth-down stop in Redskins territory, basically locking up the win. After it looked as if Campbell was settling into Jim Zorn's version of the West Coast offense, the unit has struggled in recent weeks. Campbell continues to look out of sorts, although part of that can be blamed on foul weather, a less-than-healthy Portis and a porous offensive line.
For good measure, John Carney added his third field goal of the day -- a 39-yarder -- with 6:26 to go to give the Giants a 23-7 lead.
The Giants move to 11-1 and virtually lock up the NFC East. There are still tough games to be played -- Philadelphia, Dallas, Carolina and Minnesota to close out the regular season -- but only the Cowboys have a remote shot at threatening New York during the final month. As for Burress, he'll likely surrender to authorities tomorrow, and the Giants will move on without him. In fact, they did that against the Redskins.