for this game

Giants suffer crucial loss to Redskins

Dec 18, 2011 - 11:05 PM East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - The New York Giants certainly didn't compete like a team in the midst of a playoff race on Sunday.

Needing a victory to tie Dallas atop the NFC East standings, the Giants instead suffered a demoralizing 23-10 defeat at the hands of the Washington Redskins.

Eli Manning threw three interceptions in the loss, as the Giants (7-7) fell for the fifth time in six games. They play at the Jets on Saturday before taking on Dallas at home on New Year's day. A home finale shouldn't provide much solace, however, as New York has lost its last three games at MetLife Stadium.

"I am very disappointed in how we played today," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin. "I can't say it any more bluntly, I expected more."

Rex Grossman threw for 185 yards and a touchdown and Graham Gano hit three field goals for the Redskins (5-9).

"I thought, collectively, to play the way we did you have to have everybody during their job and being focused," said Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. "We had some nice interceptions, we had some good pressure. Big time third-down play by the entire team."

The Giants' lone win in their last six games came against the Cowboys last Sunday. Manning threw for 400 yards in the 37-34 victory, but his three picks against Washington highlighted a litany of errors and missed opportunities for the home team.

The Redskins began the game with a failed flea-flicker. Grossman's underthrown ball was intercepted by Corey Webster, but the Giants failed to capitalize, going three-and-out.

Grossman then atoned, converting a 3rd-and-12 with a slant to Donte Stallworth to set up Gano's 36-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

The Giants, meanwhile, continued to hinder themselves. Hakeem Nicks dropped a sure touchdown pass on 3rd-and-6 to halt the ensuing drive. Grossman was then intercepted again -- this time by Kenny Phillips -- but a third-down false start penalty on Jake Ballard precipitated another New York punt.

A Redskins touchdown drive followed, with Grossman hitting Santana Moss in the corner of the end zone on third down for a 20-yard score and a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Manning was then intercepted at his own 35 by Oshiomogho Atogwe and Washington continued to take advantage, as Grossman hit Jabar Gaffney for 16 yards on 3rd-and-long before Darrel Young rumbled into the end zone from six yards out.

The Giants didn't get on the board until seven seconds remaining in the half, when Lawrence Tynes hit a 40-yard field goal to make it 17-3. The score came on the heels of a failed 4th-and-1 conversion for the Redskins at the New York 32.

After the break, Gano sandwiched a pair of field goals (43 and 25 yards) around a Tynes' miss from 44 yards for a 23-3 Redskins lead early in the fourth.

Operating out of the no huddle, the Giants finally showed a spark, moving to the Washington 13 on three straight Manning completions. But a miscommunication between the quarterback and Mario Manningham led to Josh Wilson's pick in the end zone.

On their next drive the Giants moved the Washington four. On third down, Manning threw and apparent touchdown to D.J. Ware, but the call was overruled upon review, setting up a 4th-and-2. Then, Nicks' touchdown grab was nullified due to a holding penalty on David Diehl. On 4th-and-long, Manning was sacked, bringing to end the woeful series.

Ahmad Bradshaw tacked on a three-yard touchdown run in the closing seconds to seal the final result.

"We have two more games and they are important games that we have to fight our tails off and try to make the best possible thing happen for us at the end," said Coughlin.

Game Notes

The Cowboys defeated Tampa Bay 31-15 on Friday to move to 8-6...They play host to the Eagles on Saturday...Manning completed 23-of-40 passes for 257 yards. He began the game 0-of-6, marking the worst start of his career...Bradshaw ran for 58 yards on 10 carries, while Brandon Jacobs ran for 33 yards on eight carries...For the Redskins, Roy Helu carried the ball 23 times for 53 yards