LANDOVER, Md. -- With a chance to expand their lead in the NFC East, the New York Giants couldn't beat Robert Griffin III for a second time this season as the Washington Redskins edged the Giants to put the division back up for grabs.
What it means: The Giants did a terrific job of keeping the ball out of RG3’s hands in the first half but Eli Manning couldn't move the ball twice after falling behind 17-16 in the fourth. The Giants' defense also couldn't get a stop at the end when it had to. The Giants allowed the Redskins to rush for more than 200 yards.
Now the Redskins, who have won three straight games, and Cowboys trail the Giants by one game in the division with four left to play.
Giant penalties: The Giants had some drive-killing penalties. Two hurt the Giants as they were in comeback mode in the fourth quarter after falling behind 17-16.
Fumble and rumble: The Redskins were threatening in the third quarter but the Giants' defense came up with a couple of big plays.
First, Stevie Brown dragged Griffin down by his jersey for a touchdown-saving tackle after Griffin gained 46 yards on a third-and-1 option run. Then Chase Blackburn forced an Alfred Morris fumble, and the Giants recovered at their own 9-yard line. As players piled up trying to go after the ball, a scuffle ensued. Linval Joseph and Will Montgomery got into it, with Joseph stepping on Montgomery. Rocky Bernard also had to be separated from a Redskin.
RG3 first-half kryptonite: The Giants found a way to stop RG3 -- keep him off the field.
The Giants held the ball for 20:32 in the first half, compared to the Redskins’ 9:28. They put together long, time-consuming drives and they converted on third down. The Giants were 8-for-10 on third downs in the first half.
The Redskins had trouble stopping the run as Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 77 yards in the first half. Also, the Giants went to Bennett, who had five catches for 82 yards and one touchdown to help the Giants lead 13-10 at intermission.
The Giants’ lead could have been greater if not for six first-half penalties and RG3’s fortunate fumble right into Josh Morgan’s hands for a touchdown.
Also, the Giants started Sean Locklear at right tackle for David Diehl, who suffered a burner the previous week. Diehl, though, had to come in for Locklear, who had his right leg rolled up on and twisted badly with 5:15 remaining in the fourth quarter. Locklear was carted off the field, and the injury looked serious.
On defense, Kenny Phillips played but did not start. The Giants went with three linebackers, using Keith Rivers to go with Blackburn and Michael Boley in their base package. Phillips came in to go with Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown on passing downs but he didn’t look like his normal self and didn’t play as much in the second half.