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Redskins Hand Giants 1st Loss

Brad Johnson and Norv Turner can stop looking over their shoulders, at least for another week.

Johnson, under fire with owner Daniel Snyder's $100 million team off to a slow start, passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns as the Washington Redskins finally showed some Super Bowl form and might have saved Turner's job in the process by beating the New York Giants 16-6 Sunday night.

Johnson, who was 14-of-20, hit Irving Fryar with a 23-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and threw a 21-yarder to Andre Reed early in the third. Johnson also had a 48-yard strike to Albert Connell, who had four catches for 122 yards, to set up a 25-yard field goal by Michael Husted.

While it was only the fourth week of the season, this was a must-win game for the Redskins (2-2) if they had any realistic hope of catching the Giants (3-1) and winning the NFC East again.

Washington played like a desperate team. Not only did Johnson silence those critics calling for free agent Jeff George to take over at quarterback, but the Redskins defense shut down Kerry Collins and a Giants offense that looked potent in the first three weeks of the season.

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Game Summary

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  • Collins, who was hitting 71.3 percent of his passes coming into the game, finished 21-of-44 for 210 yards. He was also sacked four times for 42 yards in losses, and he saw Deion Sanders kill a drive early in the fourth quarter with an interception in the end zone.

    Ike Hilliard caught a 7-yard touchdown pass in the closing minutes for New York's only touchdown.

    There wasn't much thunder and lightning out of the Giants backfield, either. Tiki Barber, leading the NFL in rushing with 326 yards, gained 65 yards on 16 carries, while Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne had 23 yards on five carries.

    The key for the Redskins was winning the battle up front against the Giants' revamped offensive line.

    Johnson needed two series to warm up, but once he got going, the Redskins started eating up yards in chunks against a defense that hadn't given up a play longer than 31 yards in its first three games.

    Faced with a third-and-2 on the Washington 31 early in the second quarter, Johnson got Giants corner Dave Thomas to bite on a pump fake, and James Thrash made a diving catch on a 46-yard pass. On the next play, Johnson caught safety Sam Garnes guessing on another pump fake and found a wide-open Fryar in the end zone for a 7-0 lead, capping a seven-play, 92-yard drive.

    A 13-yard sack by Marco Coleman forced a New York punt on the next series and Washington came right back with the long pass to Connell, setting up Husted's field goal.

    Washington pretty much wrapped up the game with a four-play, 81-yard drive in the third quarter.

    Johnson hit Connell for 53 yards and followed that with the touchdown pass to Reed.

    New York finally got on the board with 2:25 to go on a 13-play, 86-yard drive that Collins capped with his pass to Hilliard. Dayne was stopped short on the 2-point conversion.

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