Behind perhaps the best defensive effort of the season, the Redskins snapped their two-game slide Sunday, beating the New York Giants, 23-10, at MetLife Stadium.
The win marked the first time since 1999 that the Redskins have swept the Giants in one season. The loss dampens the Giants’ hopes of winning the division title.
Washington’s defensive backs intercepted Eli Manning three times and the Redskins held the Giants to just 324 yards of offense, many of them in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. New York was only 3 of 9 on third downs and didn’t find the end zone until the game’s final minute. In fact, until Ahmad Bradshaw’s four-yard touchdown with just :33 seconds remaining, the Giants had only three points to show for their three trips into the red zone.
The Giants had their chances in the final quarter. Early in the fourth, Manning marched his team down to the Washington 13-yard line before throwing an interception to Josh Wilson in the end zone. On New York’s next possession, a pass interference call against Reed Doughty put the Giants on the Washington 3-yard line, but the Giants couldn’t punch it in.
Manning hit D.J. Ware for a four-yard pass that was initially ruled a touchdown. Replay of the score, though, showed that Ware didn’t have possession of the ball when he crossed the goal line. The touchdown was reversed and the Giants were placed on the 2-yard line. Manning appeared to have a second touchdown pass -- this one to Hakeem Nicks -- but it was called back because of a holding penalty against David Diehl. On fourth-and-goal from the 12-yard line, Manning was sacked by Ryan Kerrigan for a 13-yard loss.
Other than Bradshaw’s late score, the lone fourth-quarter points came on the quarter’s first play: a 25-yard field goal by Graham Gano — his third of the day.
Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman finished the day 15 of 24 passing for 185 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. For the Giants, Manning was 23 of 40 for 257 yards, no touchdowns and the three interceptions.
After three straight 100-yard games, rookie running back Roy Helu didn’t fare quite as well at MetLife Stadium. He finished the day with 53 yards on 23 carries -- an average of 2.3 yards per carry. His longest run of the day was eight yards.
The only thing preventing the Redskins from their second win since October: A monumental fourth-quarter collapse.
The Giants’ hopes for an immediate comeback ended on the second play of the half. Quarterback Eli Manning looked for receiver Hakeem Nix, but Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall made a beautiful one-handed interception, the Redskins’ second pick of the day. Hall returned the ball to the Giants’ 34, but the Redskins couldn’t score another touchdown. They settled for Graham Gano’s 43-yard field goal and led 20-3.
The Giants then went on what looked to be a methodical drive that might get them back in the game. But on third and 6 from the Redskins’ 18, Washington defensive end Stephen Bowen sacked Manning for an eight-yard loss. Lawrence Tynes’s 44-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left, and the Redskins’ lead was intact.
The Redskins closed the quarter with a pair of 17-yard pass plays from Rex Grossman to Jabar Gaffney to move well into Giants territory. Though they failed to convert a third-down play from the Giants’ 14 – the last play of the quarter – they entered the fourth lining up for a short Gano field goal attempt that would give them a 23-3 lead.
At halftime, it appeared the roles were reversed: The Redskins seemed to be the team with a playoff berth on the line, and the Giants looked as if they were playing out the string. Washington held a surprising 17-3 lead at the break.
The Redskins opened the quarter by closing out an impressive 13-play drive that began in the first quarter. On third and 8 from the Giants’ 20, quarterback Rex Grossman found receiver Santana Moss wide open on a corner route. Moss got both feet in bounds, the Redskins went up 10-0 – and boos started pouring out of the stands at MetLife Stadium.
The Redskins then got on the right side of the turnover battle. On first down from his own 38, Giants quarterback Eli Manning looked deep to receiver Victor Cruz, who was covered downfield by linebacker London Fletcher. With his back to the quarterback, Fletcher threw up his arms and tipped the ball. Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe dove under the ball and intercepted it, a play that held up to the scrutiny of review.
They then got the running game going. Their first six plays of their next possession were on the ground. But on third and 14 from the 22, Grossman found receiver Jabar Gaffney on the right side. Gaffney made a perfect stop-and-go move after he caught the ball short of the first down marker, and the 16-yard pickup gave the Redskins first and goal at the 6. From there, fullback Darrell Young rumbled in for a six-yard touchdown run – the first rushing score of his career – and, stunningly, the Redskins took a 17-0 lead.
The Redskins failed to convert a fourth-and-1 play on their next possession. That allowed the Giants to scratch together a scoring drive. With 12 seconds left, New York running back Ahmad Bradshaw made an 18-yard catch after bouncing the ball off both his legs. That set up Lawrence Tynes’s 40-yard field goal with two seconds left in the quarter. But the Giants were booed off the field at the break.
The Washington Redskins hold a 3-0 lead over the New York Giants despite a forgettable start to Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium. Quarterback Rex Grossman threw an interception to Giants cornerback Corey Webster on the very first play of the game.
On the play – a called flea-flicker – Santana Moss had a three-step cushion on Webster, but Grossman held onto the ball too long and under-threw the pass. Webster turned around, waited for the ball and made the catch of a pass that traveled 49 yards. An unnecessary roughness call on Giants’ defensive tackle Chris Canty away from the ball backed the ball up to the New York 18.
Washington held the Giants to three-and-out, then put together a 10-play, 52-yard drive capped by a 36-yard Graham Gano field goal.
On that drive, the Redskins had gains of 15 yards (a Jabar Gaffney catch), 14 yards (a reverse by Anthony Armstrong) and 19 yards (a throw to Donte Stallworth). But the drive stalled at the Giants’ 18-yard line when Grossman threw back-to-back incompletions, and Washington had to settle for the field goal.
On Washington’s next possession, Grossman threw yet another interception. Going deep for Gaffney on first-and-10 from the Washington 20, Grossman overthrew the receiver and Aaron Ross made the catch, giving New York the ball at its own 27-yard line.
The quarter ended with the Redskins back in Giants territory with the ball on the 25.
For the first quarter, despite their two turnovers, the Redskins were more productive, outgaining the Giants 99-29 and racking up six first downs to New York’s one.