Donnell catches on as Giants rout Redskins, 45-14

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
20 PHOTOS
Giants rout Redskins
See Gallery
Donnell catches on as Giants rout Redskins, 45-14
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell (84) pulls in his second touchdown of the game, under pressure from Washington Redskins strong safety Brandon Meriweather (31) during the first half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts to his touchdown pass to Larry Donnell during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins walks off the field after an interception during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell (84) heads to the turf in the end zone after pulling in a touchdown pass under pressure from Washington Redskins inside linebacker Perry Riley (56) during the first half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) steps into the end zone for a touchdown as New York Giants strong safety Antrel Rolle (26) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell (84) pulls in a touchdown pass under pressure from Washington Redskins inside linebacker Perry Riley (56) during the first half of an NFL Thursday night football game in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Redskins wide receiver Andre Roberts (12) pulls in a touchdown pass under pressure from New York Giants free safety Quintin Demps (35) during the first half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
New York Giants defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (99) falls on a loose ball as Washington Redskins tackle Tyler Polumbus (74) closes in after Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked during the first half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. The New York Giants recoved the fumble. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Wide receiver Andre Roberts #12 of the Washington Redskins celebrates his 2nd quarter touchdown against the New York Giants at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants scores a 4th quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Wide receiver Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants runs past inside linebacker Perry Riley #56 of the Washington Redskins during the 3rd quarter of their game at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Tight end Larry Donnell #84 of the New York Giants slaps hands with head coach Tom Coughlin during a game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins walks off the field after throwing an interception in the third quarter against the New York Giants at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Wide receiver Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants is hit by free safety Ryan Clark #25 of the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins #99 of the Washington Redskins walks off the field after being injured during the 2nd quarter against the New York Giants at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Tight end Larry Donnell #84 of the New York Giants is upended by strong safety Brandon Meriweather #31 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants greets fans after defeating the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins sits on the bench after this third interception, during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Landover, Md., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants jogs off the field following a 45-14 win over the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 25, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


BY JOSEPH WHITE
AP SPORTS WRITER

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- He wasn't drafted, people mispronounce his name, and he had no idea where he was going when he was ushered into the room for his first big NFL postgame news conference.

But Larry Donnell can find the end zone.

And, once he gets there, all he has to do is turn his 6-foot-6, 265-pound body around and haul in the pass from Eli Manning. It happened three times in the first half Thursday night in the New York Giants' 45-14 victory over the Washington Redskins.

"You set your goals high," Donnell said. "I didn't expect it to come so quick, but it has."

He has become Manning's top receiver, the perfect target in the team's new dink-and-dunk offense. The second-year tight end out of Grambling State caught twisting grabs of 5, 6 and 6 yards, touchdowns so similar he had trouble differentiating them in his mind.

"They all tie into each other," he said. "Every time I think about one, I just smile from ear to ear, man. It's just a great feeling. ... When we're down there, you make eyes with Eli, you know he's about to throw it."

Giants Turning It Around


After struggling in his first two games running new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's West Coast playbook, Manning has led the Giants (2-2) to consecutive victories.

Manning is supposed to complete 70 percent of his passes in this offense, and he surpassed that mark against the Redskins, going 28 for 39 - including three simple open-field drops - for 300 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Manning also ran for a 1-yard score, as did Andre Williams, and the Giants forced six turnovers.

"That was the whole thing, to be able to leave here tonight and be 2-2 and 1-0 in the division. That was huge," New York coach Tom Coughlin said. "It's exciting to be in the hunt, and by being able to come out of here with a win, hopefully we have a chance to be."

Donnell - it's pronounced "don-EHL", not "DON-ehl" - beat a trio of defenders for his hat trick of touchdowns: linebacker Perry Riley, safety Brandon Meriweather and rookie cornerback Baushad Breeland. They barely knew what hit them.

"He's better than what we thought," Meriweather said. "And by the time we made that adjustment, he was three touchdowns in."

Donnell finished with seven catches for 54 yards. He had only one career touchdown catch entering the game, but he now leads the Giants this season in TD catches (4) and overall receptions (25). Daniel Fells had a 2-yard scoring catch in the third quarter, which means tight ends have snagged seven of Manning's nine TD passes this season.

New York's Victor Cruz added six catches for 108 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game.

Kirk Cousins and his receivers weren't anywhere near as efficient for the Redskins, whose six giveaways led to 31 points for the Giants. A strip-sack by Mathias Kiwanuka set up New York's first touchdown, Trumaine McBride's strip of tight end Logan Paulsen after a catch ended a Washington drive deep in New York territory, and Prince Amukamara, Quinten Demps, McBride and Antrel Rolle intercepted Cousins' passes in the second half.

"I've got to look at my play," Cousins said, "because that was killing us at the end there."

Cousins, who has the starting job while Robert Griffin III recovers from a dislocated ankle, finished 19 for 33 for 257 yards with four interceptions and a fumble for first-year coach Jay Gruden's Redskins (1-3), who dropped into the cellar in the NFC East, already 2 1/2 games behind the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles. Cousins threw three interceptions in a span of five attempts in the second half; Griffin has never thrown three picks in an entire game.

"Their coaches had them ready to play. We didn't have our team ready to play," Gruden said. "We were abysmal offensively and defensively and it showed."

Donnell, meanwhile, was asked if he kept the balls from his touchdown catches as souvenirs.

"Nah," he answered. "There's more coming."

Notes: Redskins two-time Pro Bowl LT Trent Williams strained his right knee in the second half and will have an MRI on Friday. ... Washington TE Niles Paul left in the first half with a concussion after a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit at the end of a 28-yard catch. ... Redskins DE Jarvis Jenkins left with bruised ribs. ... The Giants scored in the first quarter for the first time this season.

---

AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners