The Washington Redskins played the role of spoiler to perfection Sunday afternoon, as they knocked the New York Giants back into second place in the NFC East with a 23-10 win at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The win gave Washington their first season sweep over the Giants since 1999.
The Redskins (5-9) overcame two first-quarter interceptions by Rex Grossman and their patchwork secondary picked off three of Eli Manning's passes as Washington stormed to an early 17-0 lead.
Grossman's first interception came on the very first play from scrimmage as a deep pass to Santana Moss off of a flea-flicker play was picked off by Corey Webster. Washington's second possession was more successful, as Grossman drove the Redskins 52 yards in 10 plays before Graham Gano nailed a 36-yard field goal for a 3-0 Washington lead.
The Giants (7-7) should have scored a touchdown on their next possession, but Manning's potential 54-yard scoring strike was dropped by Hakeem Nicks on a third-down-and-six play.
Grossman was intercepted on another deep ball on Washington's next possession, but that marked the end of his struggles on the day. After another New York punt, the Redskins drove 82 yards in 13 plays, a drive that culminated with Grossman finding Santana Moss in the back corner of the end zone with a 20-yard touchdown pass. Grossman finished the day with 15 completions in 24 attempts for 185 yards and the touchdown in addition to the two interceptions.
Manning threw his first interception on the next possession, as Oshiomogho Atogwe made a diving play on a deflected deep ball and ran to New York's 41-yard-line. Darrel Young capped the drive with a six-yard run to make the score 17-0.
The Giants ended the first half with a 40-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes to make the score 17-3, but Manning was intercepted by DeAngelo Hall on the opening possession of the second half. The resulting 43-yard field goal by Gano made the score 20-3.
From there, the game dissolved into a defensive stalemate. Manning drove the Giants deep into Redskins territory three times in the second half, but each time the Giants came away empty. Tynes missed a 44-yard field goal on New York's second possession of the half. After Gano's 25-yard field goal put Washington up 23-3, the Giants drove to Washington's 13-yard-line, but Manning's attempted fade route to Mario Manningham was intercepted by Josh Wilson.
The final triumph of the Redskins defense came midway through the fourth quarter. The Giants thought they had scored their first touchdown of the game when D.J. Ware appeared to break the plane of the goal line. However, the officials ruled that he had not. On the next play, fourth-and-1, Manning found Nicks in the end zone, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. On fourth-and-goal from the 11-yard-line, Manning was sacked by Ryan Kerrigan to end the competitive portion of the game. Ahmad Bradshaw crashed over from three yards out to provide the final margin with 33 seconds remaining.
Jabar Gaffney was the offensive star of the game with six catches for 85 yards, while Roy Helu and Evan Royster combined for 86 rushing yards on 32 carries.
For the Giants, Manning finished the day with 23 completions in 40 pass attempts for 257 yards in addition to the three interceptions.