After playing to a 13-13 tie in the first half, the two teams took turns scoring and giving the ball back to each other. Washington fumbled three times and Robert Griffin III was picked off once, and Manning was intercepted twice, all in the second half.
Santana Moss’s fumble with his team attempting a last-minute drive sealed the Redskins’ fate. Washington dropped to 3-4 on the season while New York improved to 5-2 and remained in first place in the NFC East.
“We had turnovers today, and there are no excuses for that,” said Griffin, who completed 20 of 28 passes for 258 yards, two touchdowns and the interception and had a passer rating of 108.9. “But I was telling the guys in the locker room, we had a chance to win the game, and were ahead even with those turnovers. So, if we can cut back on that and continue to put points on the board, it’s going to be hard to be stopped. . . . [We] still had a chance to win the game. We didn’t do that. Right now, it’s hard to know what to think, but you just keep pushing forward.”
Compounding the pain felt by the loss, the Redskins lost their top tight end, Fred Davis, for the season with a torn left Achilles’ tendon.
Despite losing Davis on their first offensive series, Washington continued to execute and looked to break its halftime tie after getting the ball first in the third quarter. The Redskins had to punt, however. But the defense forced the Giants to do the same, and the offense recaptured its previous form, moving the ball 51 yards in five plays. Then a 15-yard run by Alfred Morris that would have put the ball at the New York 13 was nullified when Washington right tackle Tyler Polumbus was called for a “leg whip” and the Redskins were penalized 15 yards.
On the next play (a first and 23 from the New York 41), Morris fumbled while trying to fight through the middle of the line.
The Giants threatened to score, moving downfield in five plays, but cornerback Josh Wilson intercepted a Manning pass at the Washington 9-yard line and returned it to the 16.
Griffin and the Redskins began clicking again and returned to Giants’ territory, but facing a second and five from the New York 42, Washington turned the ball over again.
Backup tight end Logan Paulsen appeared to break off his slant route early, and Griffin’s pass landed in the arms of safety Stevie Brown, who returned it 41 yards to the Washington 35. The Giants scored on a one-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw to go up 20-13 with 13 minutes 1 second left in the game.
The Redskins hadn’t gotten the turnovers out of their system. After getting the ball at their 28 and going 51 yards on 11 plays — converting two fourth downs on the series — Griffin coughed up the ball at the Giants 29-yard line while he was sacked by New York’s Jason Pierre-Paul.