The significance of this game to the Parcells-era Giants can not be understated. The march toward Super Bowl XXI began right here. Having already purged the roster of malcontents during the off season, Parcells made several adjustments to the starting 22 following a disappointing loss to the Eagles and an inconsistent 4-4 start.
Among the most significant adjustments were within the OL, which can be pin-pointed as the genesis of "The Suburbanites" and installing Joe Morris as the starting HB over Butch Woolfolk (heretofore relegated to KR duties).
The dividends paid were tremendous and the landslide victory over the two-time NFC champion Redskins cathartic. So celebratory was the Giant sideline that the very first Gatorade Dunk of the head coach occurred as the clock clicked toward zero - carried out by Jim Burt and Lawrence Taylor. In one of Parcells' classic button-pushing motivational moves he had ridder Burt hard during the week leading up to the game, challenging his ability to handle Redksins center Jeff Bostic. Burt and the rest of the Giants defense stymied Washington's formidable rush attack to 79 yards, particularly frustrating Pro Bowler John Riggins to 51 yards on 16 carries.
This game also marked a reversal of fortune for New York against their rival. The Giants had lost five consecutive games to the Redskins going back to 1981 (the streak began with the infamous "Squib Game" - which happened to be Simms last start for the Giants for nearly three calendar years, spanning November 1981 to Spetember 1984), and starting here New York would turn the tables and win 10 of the next 11 non-strike games.
The margin of victory was quantifiable in many ways: The was the Giants biggest win over Washington since a 48-21 win in 1968, the largest margin of victory over any opponent since a 32-0 win at Seattle in 1981 and the most points scored by the Giants since putting 38 on the scoreboard against Dallas in 1980.
Accolades followed for individual Giants as well. Morris' three-TD performance in this game signaled something of a hallmark for him, as he'd repeat the feat four more times in 1985 on his way to leading the NFL with 21 rushing tDs and a club record 1,336 rushing yards, the first Giant 1,000-yard rushing performance since 1972.
Simms went on to become the first Giant QB to pass for 4,000 yards in 19843, and notably is the first Giant player to win the NFC Player Of The Week award for this Week 9 performance against Washington. The POTW award was instituted in 1984, Lawrence Taylor won the Defensive POTW in Week 2 against Dallas.
While the 1984 Giants continues a somewhat bumpy ride to a 9-7 Wild Card qualifying finish, for the first time in a long time the arrow was pointing upward and an aura of confidence surrounded the Giants.
New York Times
game summary (mentions Gatorade dunk), Joe Morris' big day
New York Daily News
game summary part 1
game summary part 2, Joe Morris
game photos & league notes (interesting in that Gary Hogeboom is noted for had been playing poorly since Lawrence Taylor ravaged him in Week 2)
game summary part 1
game summary part 2
reckoning for the Redskins
game summary, bad day for Washington
The Journal News
game summary (mentions Gatorade Dunk), revamped defense
Washington Post *very good football coverage*
game summary part 1, Riggins no where to run
game summary part 2, Redskins fall out of first place, Parcells pleased
day-after notes & accolades
NY Daily News
big things ahead for Giants?, Simms comes into his own, George Young speaks, Joe Morris
roster reshaping paying off, Simms wins NFC OPOTW award
Giants vs Washington 1984 Week 9 (shaky VHS tape; Summerall & Madden)
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