New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning sits on the bench during the fourth quarter of his team’s blowout loss to the Redskins. The final was 23-10, but only
because New York scored with under a minute to go after trailing, 23-3, for almost all of the second half.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — If the New York Giants miss the playoffs once again, they have only themselves and the Washington Redskins to blame.
Rex Grossman threw a touchdown pass and the Redskins put a major hurt on the Giants and their playoff hopes with a dominating 23-10 victory Sunday in a game in which New York showed little desire with much on the line.
"I'm very disappointed in how we played today," coach Tom Coughlin said after the Giants (7-7) fell a game behind Dallas (8-6) in the NFC East with two games left in the regular season.
"I accept responsibility for it. But I expected to see more — quality execution — and we didn't get that."
Surprisingly, Washington (5-9) looked very much like a playoff team in winning for only the second time in 10 games and embarrassing the Giants for the second time this season.
Grossman and the offense held the ball for 35 minutes, while the defense picked off Eli Manning three times and didn't allow a touchdown until the final minute.
"They had a lot at stake and obviously we didn't and I'm pleased the way we played," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said.
Coming off an emotional win over Dallas on Sunday night in a game that gave them control of their own destiny, the Giants showed nothing after a couple of early interceptions.
"I didn't see the passion in us today," running back Brandon Jacobs said. "We didn't play well. We disappointed each other and our fans, and we've just got to play better. I can't tell you why."
The Giants still control their destiny. If they beat the Jets and the Cowboys in their final two games, they will win the division.
The Cowboys play the Philadelphia Eagles next weekend and could wrap up the division if the Giants fall in their rivalry game with the Jets.
"I still have confidence," Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck said. "We laid an egg today, but I've seen us rebound from things like this a lot of times. There's no quit in our guys. This was kind of an eye-opener. We have to keep the intensity going the whole game, and we didn't maintain it today.
Washington never trailed in spoiling what the Giants hoped would be another step in their run to the playoffs. The Redskins took the crowd out of the game early, opening a 17-0 lead and they were never threatened.
Grossman threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Santana Moss, Darrel Young scored on a 6-yard run after one of the Redskins' interceptions and Graham Gano kicked three field goals.
Former Giant and current Redskins defensive tackle Barry Cofield enjoyed spoiling the party hopes of his former teammates.
"A party broke out for us. I'm proud of how we came out and played," Cofield said, adding Washington has played well in recent weeks.
This loss was the fifth in six games for the Giants, who are in danger of missing the playoffs for the third straight year.
The scenario has been the same each season. New York starts the season quickly and then falters down the stretch, playing some unbelievably bad games with the postseason on the line.
This season it has been another collapse after a stunning win over New England left them at 6-2. They lost four in a row and then last week seemed to grab command again by rallying in the fourth quarter to beat the Cowboys in Dallas.
Again, with the playoffs in their grasp, they came out flat against the Redskins, who had already been eliminated from playoff contention.
Even a couple of gift interceptions by Grossman in the first quarter didn't help.
SEAHAWKS 38, BEARS 14: Albany native and Monroe alum Ricardo Lockette, a speedy receiver who was called up to the Seattle Seahawks’ active roster this week after spending his entire rookie season on the practice squad, didn’t get into Sunday’s 38-14 win against the Chicago Bears. Lockette was listed as the sixth receiver on the depth chart, but still didn’t see his number called, despite Seattle QB Tarvaris Jackson completing passes to 11 different players Sunday.
Red Bryant returned an interception 20 yards for the go-ahead TD in the third quarter and Seattle kept its faint playoff hopes alive.
Chicago quarterback Caleb Hanie was hit hard on the play by K.J. Wright and threw the ball right into Bryant's arms as Seattle (7-7) scored two TDs in a 50-second span early in the third quarter. Brandon Browner returned another interception 42 yards for a TD in the final quarter as the Seahawks outscored Chicago 31-0 in the second half.
Marshawn Lynch added two touchdown runs for Seattle.
Chicago (7-7) lost its fourth straight and played most of the game without wide receiver Johnny Knox, who was carted off in the first half after a vicious hit.
EAGLES 45, JETS 19: LeSean McCoy ran for three touchdowns to set two team records and keep Philadelphia alive in the NFC East race.
The Eagles (6-8) have won two straight for the second time this season and somehow still have a chance to repeat as division champions despite underachieving most of the year. But they have to catch Dallas (8-6) and the New York Giants (7-7).
The loss snapped New York's three-game winning streak, dropping the Jets (8-6) into a tie with Cincinnati for the final wild-card spot in the AFC.
Michael Vick threw for 274 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for a score.
McCoy had 102 yards rushing and surpassed Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren with his 19th touchdown of the season and 16th rushing TD.
LIONS 28, RAIDERS 27: Matthew Stafford threw a 6-yard TD pass to Calvin Johnson with 39 seconds remaining to cap a 98-yard scoring drive as Detroit rallied from 13 points down late in the fourth quarter.
The win wasn't sealed until Ndamukong Suh blocked Sebastian Janikowski's 65-yard field goal attempt on the final play. Suh threw his helmet in celebration after providing a perfect exclamation in his return from a two-game suspension.
The Raiders (7-7) appeared in control of the game when Aaron Curry returned a fumble 6 yards for a touchdown to make it 27-14 with 7:47 remaining.
But Stafford led two late scoring drives to win it and give the Lions (9-5) a two-game lead in the NFL wild-card race.
CARDINALS 20, BROWNS 17 OT: Patrick Peterson returned a punt 32 yards and John Skelton threw 32 yards to Larry Fitzgerald to set up a 22-yard field goal by Jay Feely.
It was the Cardinals' third overtime win in seven games.
Arizona (7-7), winner of six of its last seven, trailed 17-7 entering the fourth quarter.
Both teams were without their starting quarterbacks because of concussions. Skelton, in relief of Kevin Kolb, completed 28 of 36 for 313 yards with a touchdown and interception.
Seneca Wallace, starting for Colt McCoy, was 18 of 31 for 226 yards, including a 76-yard TD play to Greg Little. The Browns are 4-10.
SAINTS 42, VIKINGS 20: Drew Brees threw for 412 yards and five touchdowns to New Orleans to its sixth win in a row.
Brees completed 32 of 40 passes to help the Saints (11-3) overcome a slow and sloppy start and stay two games ahead of Atlanta in the NFC South. Brees is 304 yards from breaking Dan Marino's single-season record for yards passing with two games to play.
Brees threw two touchdown passes to Lance Moore and one each to Darren Sproles, Jimmy Graham and John Gilmore.
The maligned Saints pass defense held the Vikings to 94 yards passing. Adrian Peterson rushed for 60 yards in his return from a three-game absence for the Vikings (2-12).
CHARGERS 34, RAVENS 14: Philip Rivers threw for one score and reached the 4,000-yard mark for the fourth straight season, Ryan Mathews ran for two scores and hit 1,000 yards rushing, and San Diego kept its slim postseason hopes alive with a victory against playoff-bound Baltimore.
The Chargers (7-7) neutralized Baltimore's normally ferocious defense, which got Ray Lewis back after a four-game injury absence, and scored on six of their first seven possessions. San Diego is tied with Oakland, a game behind Denver with two to play. San Diego has won three straight after a six-game losing streak.
The Ravens (10-4) had their four-game winning streak snapped, but clinched a playoff berth earlier in the day thanks to losses by the New York Jets, Oakland and Tennessee.
PANTHERS 28, TEXANS 13: Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes, DeAngelo Williams ran for a score and Carolina ended Houston's seven-game winning streak.
Newton completed 13 of 23 passes for 149 yards, outplaying opposing rookie quarterback T.J. Yates. The Panthers (5-9) built a 21-0 halftime lead, then ended Houston's second-half rally when linebacker James Anderson intercepted Yates in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter.
The Texans (10-4) are playing for home-field advantage in the playoffs after clinching the AFC South last weekend.
But their top-ranked defense looked vulnerable without coordinator Wade Phillips, who's on medical leave after undergoing kidney and gall bladder surgery this week. Linebackers coach Reggie Herring made the defensive calls.
DOLPHINS 30, BILLS 23: Reggie Bush ran for a career-best 203 yards and touchdown to lead Miami to a 30-23 win over the Buffalo Bills in interim Dolphins coach Todd Bowles first game.
Bush sealed the win with a 76-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Matt Moore threw two touchdowns passes, and Vontae Davis had two of Miami's three interceptions.
Bowles replaced the fired Tony Sparano last Monday. Miami (5-9) has won five of seven.
The Bills (5-9) have lost seven straight and could finishing last in the AFC East for the fourth straight year. Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 31 of 47 for 316 yards and a TD.
BENGALS 20, RAMS 13: Rookie A.J. Green had six catches and topped 1,000 yards for the season, and Cincinnati kept pace in the AFC playoff race.
Brandon Tate's 56-yard punt return set up Bernard Scott's go-ahead touchdown run late in the third quarter and Cedric Benson added a short scoring run in the fourth for the Bengals (8-6), who won for the second time in six games.
Green caught a 55-yarder to set up a field goal for the game's first score. He has 1,006 yards receiving, leaving him 3 shy of Cris Collinsworth's franchise rookie record in 1981.
Kellen Clemens was 25 for 36 for 229 and a late touchdown pass to Danario Alexander for the Rams (2-12), who have lost five in a row.