5 things to know after Giants top Redskins 24-17

Given that the New York Giants were once 0-6 with injuries

mounting, it’s quite the feat that they’re not the first team to be

eliminated from playoff contention in the NFC East.

The Giants are soldiering on with postseason hopes alive in

December, having won five of six, while the Washington Redskins are

officially going nowhere.

New York rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit to beat

Washington 24-17 Sunday night, keeping the Giants (5-7) two games

behind division leaders Dallas and Philadelphia with four to

play.

”We’re almost accustomed to putting ourselves in bad

situations,” said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who had four

sacks in the second half.

The Redskins (3-9) won’t be repeating their NFC East title.

They’ve lost four straight and won’t be in the playoffs for the

17th time in 21 years. The NFL gave them five prime-time games this

season; they lost all five.

”When you’re out of it, yeah, it’s very disappointing. … You

don’t like to play for pride,” Washington coach Mike Shanahan

said, ”but sometimes that’s the card that’s dealt, and that’s

where we’re at right now.”

Here are five morsels from the game that separated hope from

no-hope:

STREAKY ELI: Eli Manning had a streak of 10 completions,

including a 22-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Myers in the second

quarter that tied the game at the half. He also a high throw tipped

for his 18th interception and remains on course to have more

interceptions than touchdown passes for the first time since his

rookie season. The Redskins had three sacks, which means Manning

has been brought down a career-high 31 times this season.

But Manning’s final numbers weren’t too shabby – 22 for 28 for

235 yards – and it’s hard to ignore the back-to-back clutch throws

to Myers (18 yards) and Victor Cruz (19) that set up Andre Brown’s

1-yard touchdown run that put the Giants ahead for good early in

the fourth quarter.

STREAKY RG3: Griffin completed his first 12 passes and was

running the read option as if it were 2012 all over again. Then,

for the second consecutive week, a Redskins opponent adjusted and

shut him down. Griffin was 16 for 17 for 149 yards in the first

half and just 8 for 15 for 58 yards in the second. His final line:

24 for 32 for 207 yards and a season-high 88 yards rushing on 12

carries. He wasn’t sacked in the first half, but he went down five

times after halftime.

”You don’t want to take your foot off the gas pedal,” Redskins

guard Kory Lichtensteiger said. ”They were able to answer back,

and we knew they had the weapons to do that. Offensively, we had to

score more, and we came up short. I guess we’ll have to own up on

that one.”

TUCK RULES: Tuck was one of the symbols of the underperforming

Giants with only 2 1/2 sacks on the season – until he brought down

Griffin four times. Jon Beason tied a career-high with 17 tackles

in a game played without defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder)

and cornerback Corey Webster (ankle), just the latest in a constant

parade of New York injuries.

”If I was standing here with four sacks and a loss, I wouldn’t

give 2 cents, but we got a win,” Tuck said. ”I played pretty good

tonight.”

SNAP JUDGMENT: The Redskins are good for at least one special

teams gaffe per game, and this one swung the momentum. Long snapper

Kyle Nelson sent a bouncing grounder back to punter Sav Rocca,

leading to a blocked punt that traveled 18 yards and was compounded

by a holding penalty on Nelson that added 10 yards to the final

spot.

The Giants took over at Washington’s 46 and needed only four

plays to score the go-ahead touchdown.

”Long story short: Shouldn’t have happened,” Nelson said.

WHAT DOWN WAS IT?: The Redskins were driving for a possible

tying score in the final minutes when the chain gang goofed,

setting up as if Washington had made a first down when the

officials were signaling third down.

The mistake altered the Redskins’ play-calling, but they ended

up getting the necessary yards anyway with a fourth-and-1, 6-yard

pass to Pierre Garcon – only to have Garcon stripped by safety Will

Hill, allowing New York to run out the clock.

Even so, Shanahan was clearly bothered by the sequence when

asked about it after the game.

”I told him I wanted a measurement, because I knew it was

close. It was inches. And he said, `No, it’s a first down.’ And he

moved the chains,” Shanahan said. ”And then after I saw it was

fourth down, I asked him, `You already told me it was first down.’

He didn’t say anything. So that was quite disappointing.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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