EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The cold, the wind, a divisional opponent in December. It all added up to one thing for the New York Giants: run, run and run some more.
With the wind whipping around the New Meadowlands Stadium, the Giants turned to their backfield tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. They turned Sunday's meeting with the Washington Redskins into a rout, rushing for all four touchdowns and 200 yards in a 31-7 victory.
"We talked all week, we knew it would be cold," Jacobs said after rushing for 103 yards and two touchdowns. "We did say no dodging, run downhill.
"Running the football is how you win in December. If you don't have that, unless you're an indoor team, you're in trouble."
The Giants never were in trouble. Jacobs set the tone with a 39-yard burst on New York's second play from scrimmage. He soon followed with an 8-yard TD and the Giants were off and running into a first-place tie with Philadelphia atop the NFC East. The Giants (8-4) have won five straight against Washington (5-7), whose playoff chances pretty much disappeared.
"Hey, it's December, we know what to expect here in December, it's the grind-it-out games," guard Chris Snee said. "That's what we look forward to."
"We're in good position. We just have to continue to improve and trying to win out because everyone is winning."
Not Donovan McNabb and the Redskins, who have lost five of seven. McNabb had plenty of success as an Eagles quarterback against New York, but wasn't a factor in his first appearance against the Giants as a Redskin. He wasn't helped by drops from his receivers and the tricky wind, which always has had an impact in the Meadowlands, whether in Giants Stadium or the new structure that opened this year.
And as New York's defense was dominating early on, the Redskins were getting overrun.
"You can't tackle the way we did in the first half and expect to win," coach Mike Shanahan said. "When you have six turnovers in a game, you have no chance to win. There were a lot of mistakes in the first half that kept drives from happening. You do that, you get embarrassed like we did."
Things started well immediately for New York as Danny Ware went 37 yards with the opening kickoff. Jacobs, who had only eight carries, then shed two tacklers to surge down the left side for 39 yards. Moments later, he was dancing in the end zone following his TD run on which he showed nifty footwork with a cutback.
It was the Giants' first opening-drive TD in 13 games.
"We came right out and marched downfield and that got the stadium excited," said Jacobs, who added he is having more fun this year than in the Giants' 2007 championship season.
Soon after Jacobs opened the onslaught, running mate Bradshaw scored on a 4-yard run for a 14-0 edge. Working behind a jumbled offensive line due to injuries, Bradshaw also had a 10-yard burst to make it 21-0 at halftime -- and it could have been much worse for Washington. London Fletcher intercepted Eli Manning's underthrown pass in the end zone on first down from the Redskins 4.
No matter. With Washington unable to move the ball or regularly turning it over, the romp was on.
Bradshaw's second touchdown was set up by Anthony Armstrong's fumble that Terrell Thomas returned 10 yards to the Washington 35. And Jacobs' 28-yard jaunt on which he high-stepped into the end zone in the third quarter to make it 28-0 followed McNabb's fumble at the Redskins 46.
Jacobs, who got back his starting job last week but splits the carries with Bradshaw, went over 100 yards on that score. Bradshaw wound up with 97 and is at 1,013 for the season.
"He played powerfully, broke some tackles," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said of Jacobs, who became the starter because of Bradshaw's fumbling issues. "He established a good foundation for us running the ball."
Then Bradshaw took over.
"We love challenges," Bradshaw said of the one-two running punch. "We feed off each other."
McNabb won his last four starts against the Giants while an Eagle, but other than his 33-yard strike to a wide-open Armstrong, he did little. He was sacked four times, twice by first-round draftee Jason Pierre-Paul, and threw an end-zone interception to Thomas. It was a career-high 14th pick McNabb has thrown in a season -- he added another on the final play -- and the Redskins lost four fumbles.
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