(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)



1) Victor Cruz runs through a double-team to score the game-winning touchdown in New Jersey.

2) Eli Manning suggests that the touchdown was made possible by his team’s recognition of Washington’s scheme, saying that the Skins “had played that coverage a few times throughout the day, but the safety was not that low….Now, he decided to get a little bit tighter and tried to take away any outside-breaking routes. I’m not sure why….He got a little aggressive, and Vic saw the coverage and said, ‘Hey, there’s no one in the middle of the field. I can run through.’ I saw the same thing.’ “

3) A reporter evidently asks DeAngelo Hall about Manning’s brains in recognizing this, and Hall says, “I feel like we gave them that play. That was nothing he did – aw man, he saw this and saw that….It wasn’t something he was just a rocket scientist and he just figured out. We just played that as bad as possible.”

4) Reporters tell Manning what Hall said, and Manning responds “I don’t think it took a rocket scientist, either. A guy was running open and I hit him.”

5) Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, Hall calls into the Kevin and Rock show on 106.7 The Fan and explains what he meant.

“It wasn’t something special they did; it was just a breakdown and a mental lapse on our part that ultimately cost us the game,” Hall said on Wednesday night. “We had a mental breakdown and it ended up costing us the game.

“I think anybody who’s smart enough to watch football can sit there and see we blew that coverage,” Hall continued. “With that being said, the question I was asked was is Eli just the smartest guy, some question the reporter asked me about that particular play. And I was like, nah, you didn’t have to be too smart to see a guy run down the middle and just throw it up.

“I’m not saying Eli’s not smart,” he explained. “You know, the dude’s super smart. He won two Super Bowls. I got drafted with Eli. I was able to get to know him and his family through that whole process. I respect his game a whole lot. I respect that football team, Coach Coughlin, all those guys a lot and what they’ve been able to accomplish up there in New York.

“So I’m not taking anything from that organization or Eli as a player. I think he’s a Hall of Fame player. I think he’s showing that, he’s proving that. I think he’s got a lot more years left in him to play. But on that particular play, I felt like the coverage that we didn’t execute to the best of our ability definitely made it a lot easier on him than we probably wanted it to be.”

And how did the Redskins muck that up?

“Our safety saw something,” Hall explained, talking about Madieu Williams. “He thought it was gonna be an out rout, so he kind of set his feet a little bit, and by the time he started to run, Cruz was already even with him. And you’re probably not gonna win that battle if he’s even with you….

“As bad as that play makes you feel in New York, it’s a learning experience,” Hall said. “Guarantee if that same situation happens later in the season, it won’t happen. Guarantee. As bad as it hurts, it’s a learning experience. And we’ll learn from it.”

Near as I can tell, no one now has an excuse for being angry with anyone else.