The Washington Redskins and New York Giants were eliminated from postseason contention weeks ago. They played like in on Sunday in a sloppy, soggy, turnover-filled contest that the Giants eventually took control over and won, 20-6.
The biggest drama of the day was when — not if — owner Daniel Snyder would fire head coach Mike Shanahan, with one year and $7 million remaining on his original 5-year deal, and the rest of his coaching staff. Media reports following the game indicated Snyder and Shanahan were to meet Monday morning at 9:00 am.
The Redskins finished the season 3-13, the third time in Shanahan’s four seasons the team has finished with double-digit losses.
The teams combined for six turnovers lost, with the Redskins fumbling twice and Kirk Cousin picked off twice, including the last offensive play of the day.
Cousins’ work was spotty in the heavy rain most of the day. He finished just 19-of-49 for 169 yards and threw behind receivers all day long. Alfred Morris carried 16 times for 62 yards and Pierre Garcon hauled in six catches for 56 yards, becoming the third player all-time to catch at least five balls in each of his 16 games in a season.
Indicative of how poor the play was, the teams combined to convert just 8 of 34 opportunities on third down.
The Skins scored first, taking advantage of a Giants’ turnover. Brandon Meriweather forced an Andre Brown fumble at the Giants’ 20. Three plays gained just five yards, so the Skins settled for a 31-yard Kai Forbath field goal.
On the ensuing possession, Eli Manning hit Jerrel Jernigan for 30 yards, then again for 24 yards for a touchdown, giving New York a lead that would never really be challenged. Jernigan finished with six catches for 90 yards.
After another Redskins three-and-out and a short punt by Sav Rocca, the Giants struck again, as Manning hooked up with Hakeem Nicks on a 35-yard completion to give them the ball at the Skins’ 11-yard line. The drive stalled, and Josh Brown was good from 34 yards out to up the Giants’ lead to 10-3.
Washington went three-and-out again, but on the Giants’ next series, Manning was picked off by Josh Wilson at the Redskins 46. A 14-yard reception by Garcon and 9-yard catch by Santana Moss set up Forbath for a 49-yard field goal just before the half.
On the last play of the third quarter, Jernigan took and end-around 49 yards untouched for a touchdown and Brown added a 38-yard field goal on the Giants’ next possession to close out the scoring — and the Redskins season.