Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images
NEW YORK GIANTS 19 – WASHINGTON REDSKINS 10…
In a game that did not mean much to the New York Giants, they played the role of spoiler on Sunday by defeating the Washington Redskins 19-10 in a game Washington had to win in order to make the playoffs. The Giants finished the 2016 regular season with an 11-5 record and 4-2 in the NFC East.
The Giants will face the Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin in the first round of the NFC playoffs on Sunday at 4:40PM ET.
The story of the game was a New York Giants defense that shut down what had been the NFL’s 3rd-ranked offense. Washington was held to 16 first downs, 284 total net yards, and 38 net yards rushing. The defense totaled four sacks, two interceptions, and recovered a late lateral for a touchdown.
The Giants played the game fairly conservatively on offense, calling 40 rushing plays to 28 passing plays. New York accrued a season-high 161-yards rushing, while quarterback Eli Manning completed 17-of-27 passes (with one sack) for just 180 yards. But the Giants dominated time of possession (35:52 to 24:08) and did not turn the football over. The red zone continued to be an issue as the Giants were 1-of-3 (33 percent) in such opportunities.
The Redskins had six first-half possessions, with the first five resulting in punts and the last with a missed 57-yard field goal as time expired. At the half, the Redskins only had four first downs, 73 yards passing, and 10 yards rushing.
After a three-and-out on their first offensive drive, the Giants scored a total of 10 points on their next two possessions. First came a 13-play, 56 yard drive that ended with a 22-yard field goal when the possession stalled at the 4-yard line. Then came an 11-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Rashad Jennings. New York’s final two possessions of the first half resulted in punts.
The Giants had a chance to extend their 10-0 lead at the beginning of the 3rd quarter after driving 59 yards in eight plays to the Washington 16-yard line. But instead of kicking the field goal, Head Coach Ben McAdoo decided to go for it on 4th-and-2. Manning’s pass to wide receiver Odell Beckham was incomplete and the Giants turned the football over on downs.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Redskins threatened after quarterback Kirk Cousins completed a 49-yard pass to wide receiver Pierre Garcon. But cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ended this threat with an interception at the Giants 5-yard line. The Giants went three-and-out and Washington finally got on the board late in the 3rd quarter with a 32-yard field goal after a 19-yard punt return and a 5-play, 33-yard drive.
Momentum clearly shifted in the 4th quarter after another three-and-out by the Giants and then an 11-play, 76 yard drive by Washington that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to tight end Jordan Reed to tie the game at 10-10 with 8:13 left to play. After both teams went three-and-out, the Giants regained the advantage after an 8-play, 58-yard drive set up a 40-yard field goal by place kicker Robbie Gould. The big play on this drive was a 44-yard pass from Manning to wide receiver Tavarres King. The Giants now led 13-10 with 2:12 left to play.
Washington quickly moved the ball to the Giants 43-yard line. But Rodgers-Cromartie all but officially sealed the game with his second interception at the Giants 25-yard line, which he returned 28 yards. The Giants then went three-and-out for the fifth time of the second half, but there was only six seconds left on the clock when the Redskins got the ball back. On Washington’s final play, cornerback Trevin Wade picked up a fumbled lateral and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown. The Giants took a knee on the 2-point conversion attempt.
Running back Paul Perkins rushed for 102 yards on 21 carries, while Jennings chipped in 52 more yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Beckham was pulled from the game in the third quarter, but had five catches for 44 yards.
Rodgers-Cromartie finished the game with two interceptions, one sack, and one tackle for a loss. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison, safety Landon Collins, and cornerback Leon Hall each had sacks as well.
Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.
INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were right tackle Bobby Hart (forearm), tight end Jerell Adams (shoulder), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (core muscle), cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (ankle), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), linebacker Ishaq Williams, and running back George Winn.
Right guard John Jerry (burner) and wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris (knee) both were injured in the game against the Washington Redskins but later returned to the game.
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)
- WR Victor Cruz (Video)
- WR Tavarres King (Video)
- LG Justin Pugh (Video)
- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Video)
- S Landon Collins (Video)