Already guaranteed a playoff spot in his first year in charge Ben McAdoo’s New York Giant’s (11-5) decided against resting its starters in favor of playing spoiler as they ended the Washington Redskins (8-7-1) playoff hopes with another dominant defensive display.
The Redskins offense struggled out of the gate gaining just one first down through the first quarter as the Giants defense applied constant pressure to Cousins. Giants Nose Tackle Damon Harrison burst through the offensive line to record the first sack of the day, Landon Collins got in on the act during the Redskins next possession as defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo dialed up a safety blitz. The Giants were first on the board aided by a fortuitous play as Josh Norman failed to reel in, an errant pass by Eli Manning. A Robbie Gould field goal put the Giants 3-0 up.
On the next possession the Giants were aided once again by Josh Norman, as he got flagged following a tangle with Odell Beckham Jr. Running back Rashad Jennings found his way to the endzone on a 3 yard run which capped off an 11 play drive putting the Giants up by ten. Two more fruitless possessions followed for the Redskins along with another sack for the Giants defense, this time Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the corner blitz drove Cousins to the ground. A miserable half was confounded as Dustin Hopkins missed a 57yard field goal attempt as the teams hit the locker room.
Giants opening possession on the second half was an eventful affair as Josh Norman was once again flagged before the Redskins made an impressive stand forcing the Giants to turn the ball over on downs. For a brief moment the Redskins offense showed signs of life as Cousins hit Pierre Garcon for 49 yard gain, on the ensuing play Cousins was picked off by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (5th interception of the year). Dustin Hopkins converted a 32 yard field goal making a one possession game entering the fourth quarter (10-3).
The teams were soon on level terms as the offense finally found its feet, Cousins converted a third and seventeen which was aided by a penalty as Landon Collins was flagged for a late hit. Tight end Jordan Reed capped an 11 play 76 yard drive, leaving the teams level at ten a piece with eight minutes left. Once again the Redskins defense played their part as the Giants offense was pressured into a quick three and out (Colin Jenkins with a sack). Following a Giants field goal the Redskins found themselves driving to win with 2.12 left on the clock. Cousins came out firing, but it wasn’t to be as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie came up with his second pick of the evening. Miraculously the Redskins had one last shot at victory, but that hope was soon turned to mixture of disbelief and heartbreak, with a heads-up play by Trevin Wade who ceased upon a lateral pass that bounced (once) returning it to the house, giving the Giants a 19-10 victory.
Among the standouts for either team Giants running back Paul Perkins became the first 100+ yard rusher (102 yards) this season. Redskins linebacker Mason Foster was a huge factor within the usually porous defensive unit, Foster finished with 15 tackles. Offensively Pierre Garcon reeled in 4 passes for 96 yards