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5 Plays That Changed the Game


Key Play 1: Nicks drops a likely TD.

Eli Manning started off 0-for-6 in Sunday's loss, and two were to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. The second was a third-and-six play on the New York 46 where Nicks beat rookie safety DeJon Gomes and cornerback Byron Westbrook, but dropped the well-placed pass deep over the middle near the 20. Nicks, in stride, missed a likely touchdown. The play originated in the shadows, but Nicks lost sight of the ball for a split second in the sun that canvassed the area around the would-be catch.

"I think being a receiver you have to have a short term memory," Nicks said. "Obviously it's one you want back. It happened. You can't take it back now."

The Giants trailed 3-0 at the time, and the pass could have provided a spark for an offense that didn't score until the closing minutes when the game was out of reach. Manning was asked if it changed the complexion of the game.

"No," he said after the game. "That was early in the game and obviously would have been nice to have had that, get a touchdown or get in scoring position. But there were still other opportunities. There were a lot of opportunities in the game. We had a lot of plays in the game that could have been a lot better, could have turned out a lot better for us."

Key Play 2: Redskins' Moss beats the coverage.

On a third-and-eight play to start the second quarter, Prince Amukamara failed to switch off his man with Corey Webster and was unable to recover. Washington quarterback Rex Grossman then hit a wide-open Santana Moss, who caught the ball in stride in the end zone. The 20-yard touchdown gave Washington a 10-0 lead. Amukamara took responsibility for the play after the game.

"It's definitely a bad one to digest," Amukamara said. "Like coach said, we just have to worry about these next two games and still take it one game at a time. Our goal is still there to be division champs. As a competitor and as a player, I always think that there are a lot of things I can work on. I'm still not where I want to be. I'm still not where the coaches want me to be."

Key Play 3: Manning throws an INT to start second half.

Kicker Lawrence Tynes put the Giants on the board in the closing seconds of the first half. Big Blue was set to receive the kickoff after the break, trailing 17-3. Starting on their own 25, the Giants had the opportunity to put the first half behind them and make it a one possession game. However, on the second play of the drive, Manning's deep pass to Nicks was intercepted by DeAngelo Hall, who returned it to the Giants 34. The Redskins converted the turnover into three points, making it a three-possession game.

Key Play 4: Manning intercepted again to begin the fourth quarter.

If the Giants were to make another fourth-quarter comeback, it had to start right away. Down by 20 after a Washington field goal, Manning got the ball back at the Giants 23 with 14:51 to go. Manning completed four consecutive passes to Victor Cruz, Ramses Barden, Mario Manningham and Nicks, taking the ball down to the Washington 13. On first down, Manning went for the fade in the corner of the end zone but Manningham pulled up and the pass was intercepted by Josh Wilson.

"Had a fade route out there," Manning said. "They were doubling our tight end and Z so I was going to throw it to the back corner of the end zone. That's where we always try to hit those. I guess he went inside at the last second so it made it a little bit too easy of a play for the defensive back."Key Play 5: D.J. Ware touchdown reversed.

Manning and company again put together some momentum, completing two passes for 30 yards, followed by a 43-yard pass interference call on Redskins safety Reed Doughty. Trailing 23-3 on a drive that began with 11:15 to go in the game, Manning hit D.J. Ware with a short pass to the right that was ruled a four-yard touchdown. However, upon review, it turned out Ware bobbled the ball at the goal line and was tackled when he gained possession at the two-yard line. The play was reversed, which led to another nullified touchdown on the next play (David Diehl holding penalty) and a quarterback sack for a loss of 13 yards on the ensuing fourth down.

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