What it means: The Giants let the NFC East slip right out of their hands last year during Week 15 with a loss to the Eagles in a meltdown here. This Week 15, the Giants squandered their slim lead in the NFC East race by losing in inexplicable fashion to the Redskins.
Now it’s simple for the Giants -- win their remaining two games against the Jets and the Cowboys and they are in the playoffs. But that will be no easy task considering the Jets are fighting for their playoff lives and the Cowboys will come in playing for the NFC East crown.
The wildly inconsistent Giants didn’t come close to resembling the team they had been the past two weeks and certainly did not look like a team that wanted to make the playoffs.
Eli encore: After his terrific comeback in Dallas, Eli Manning had a rough start against Washington. He didn’t complete a pass until the second quarter although some of his receivers dropped balls, including Hakeem Nicks dropping a sure touchdown after getting behind the Redskins' defense early in the game.
Manning also threw three interceptions for only the second time this season, although one appeared to come after Mario Manningham did not run the route Manning wanted him to toward the end zone.
And when Manning did complete a pass for a 2-yard touchdown to Nicks, it was nullified by a holding penalty on David Diehl early in the fourth quarter with the Giants down 23-3.
Giants snoozing: The Giants said there was no way they could come out and not match the Redskins in intensity and effort for the second time this season with everything at stake.
But in a sight all too familiar to their fans, the Giants did come out flat and trailed 17-3 at the half. The Giants missed tackles, blew coverages, lost the battle at the line of scrimmage and could not capitalize on two Rex Grossman interceptions.
Rookie corner Prince Amukamara struggled in the first half in coverage and safety Antrel Rolle and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul both missed tackles on fullback Darrel Young’s 6-yard touchdown run which put the Redskins up 17-0.
Wide receiver Devin Thomas suffered a neck injury when he went to tackle Redskins TE Logan Paulsen low on a squib kick at the end of the first half. Thomas, who plays almost exclusively on special teams, remained down during almost all of halftime before being immobilized.
The team announced that he had movement and was up and walking around in the locker room later in the third quarter.
Who’s next: From Rex Grossman to Rex Ryan. The Giants face the Jets in a game that will mean much more than just bragging rights in New York for both.