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Giants comeback attempt falls short, Washington holds on 20-14

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LANDOVER. Md. – Placed in the driver's seat of the NFC East title race by favorable Thanksgiving Day results, the Giants on Sunday veered badly off course in their quest to run ahead of the division field.


NEWS
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> [Quotes: Giants Postgame Reactions](http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/Watch-Giants-Postgame-Reactions/f59f5a33-a3ef-4a77-bfb0-e24edc7e641f)
> [Instant Postgame Recap](http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/Instant-Analysis-Washington-20-Giants-14/114ef7b0-f816-44b8-b142-7df5d2a2a3e8)
PHOTOS
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Coming out of their bye, the Giants didn't score until the fourth quarter and fell to the Washington Redskins, 20-14, in FedEx Field. The result left the two teams tied atop the NFC East with matching 5-6 records. Philadelphia is 4-7 and Dallas is 3-8. The Eagles and Cowboys lost on Thursday, which gave the Giants a chance to take a two-game lead with a victory in Washington. But they committed turnovers on their first two possessions and played catchup all day.

"We didn't play well in the first half at all," said coach Tom Coughlin, who soon added, "we just started in such a poor fashion that we didn't give anybody any reason to think that we were going to be able to turn the thing around."

>> WATCH GIANTS-WASHINGTON HIGHLIGHTS

They did late, when Eli Manning – who threw three interceptions – found Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. for touchdowns that cut their deficit to six points. But they failed to make a critical third-down stop, and didn't regain possession until 19 seconds remained and they were 84 yards from the goal line.

After the game, several players expressed anger, and/or surprise that they had come out so flat after a week off. Asked how he would describe the performance, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said, "Terrible. As a unit, terrible. You know, you had a chance to seal the deal and we didn't get the job done."

>> QUOTES: GIANTS POSTGAME REACTIONS
"(It) felt like we came in and the first half it looked like we had a bye week hangover," said cornerback Prince Amukamara, who had missed the previous five games with a pectoral injury. "Then the second half I felt like if we had one more quarter, we

probably would have finished it the right way. Coach Coughlin said it and I agree with him, we were just a little too late."

"There is no explanation, no good explanation for that," Beckham said. "We have to do better. You can't do that to your teammates. It was a case of being a little too late in this game."

The Giants had trouble on both sides of the ball. Offensive linemen Justin Pugh (concussion) and Weston Richburg (ankle) were inactive, and guard Geoff Schwartz, who moved from right to left guard in Pugh's absence, fractured his lower left leg in the first quarter. Playing behind a makeshift line, Giants running backs totaled 33 yards on the ground.

The defense held Washington to only 2.8 yards a carry. But the unit did not have a sack, and was credited with just three hits on Kirk Cousins, who completed 20 of 29 passes for 302 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson. Cousins also scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak. Dustin Hopkins kicked field goals of 41 and 33 yards for the Redskins.

Manning threw interceptions on the Giants' first two series on passes that were tipped. But Washington failed to score off of its takeaways, in part because Jay Bromley blocked Hopkins' 51-yard field goal attempt.

Hopkins' first field goal broke the scoreless tie early in the second quarter. The Giants went three-and-out (Manning was sacked by Ryan Kerrigan on third down), and on the Redskins' next play, Cousins threw long to Jackson, who got behind safety Brandon Meriweather and scored the game's first touchdown.

"They threw it up in the air a mile and he ran, got behind the safety and they made a nice play," Coughlin said.

Cousins' quarterback sneak increased the Giants' halftime deficit to 17-0.

The Giants were poised to get back into the game early in the third quarter, when a 31-yard Beckham reception gave them a first-and-goal at the nine. But on third down from the four, Manning threw behind Randle in the end zone, and the ball was picked off by rookie Quinton Dunbar.

"That one's on me, just a bad throw," Manning said. "Thought I made a good read and got into it and had an open receiver. I have to put that in front and we get a touchdown right there. Just a poor throw on my part."

After Hopkins' second field goal early in the fourth quarter made it 20-0, the Giants finally rallied. Manning threw deep down the left side for Randle, who caught the ball at the 10 and stepped into the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown in fourth-and-16. After forcing Washington to punt, the Giants traveled 77 yards on nine plays, all Manning passes. The touchdown, with 4:57 remaining, covered 21 yards, and featured yet another diving, acrobatic catch by Beckham. But he was in no mood to discuss it after the game.

"It really doesn't matter, man," he said. "You get 60 minutes to play, and we didn't execute. We didn't do a good job, we came out flat. Too many mistakes, too many everything. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other team. They came out here fired up, came out to play and they did exactly that."

With momentum seemingly on their side, the Giants needed one stop to regain possession and have a chance to pull out an improbable victory. But on third-and-five from the Washington 28, tight end Jordan Reed (eight catches for 98 yards) eluded safety Craig Dahl and turned a short pass into a 20-yard gain.

"That was the play," Coughlin said. "It's a play where they're going to have to punt the ball back to us. We will have some time on the clock, and they make a first down. We didn't make that play when we needed to make that play, and sometimes it comes down to that."

On Sunday, it did too many times for the Giants.

Coming out of their bye, the Giants didn't score until the fourth quarter and fell to the Washington Redskins, 20-14, in FedEx Field. The result left the two teams tied atop the NFC East with matching 5-6 records. Philadelphia is 4-7 and Dallas is 3-8. The Eagles and Cowboys lost on Thursday, which gave the Giants a chance to take a two-game lead with a victory in Washington. But they committed turnovers on their first two possessions and played catchup all day.

"We didn't play well in the first half at all," said coach Tom Coughlin, who soon added, "we just started in such a poor fashion that we didn't give anybody any reason to think that we were going to be able to turn the thing around."

They did late, when Eli Manning – who threw three interceptions – found Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. for touchdowns that cut their deficit to six points. But they failed to make a critical third-down stop, and didn't regain possession until 19 seconds remained and they were 84 yards from the goal line.

After the game, several players expressed anger, and/or surprise that they had come out so flat after a week off. Asked how he would describe the performance, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said, "Terrible. As a unit, terrible. You know, you had a chance to seal the deal and we didn't get the job done."

"(It) felt like we came in and the first half it looked like we had a bye week hangover," said cornerback Prince Amukamara, who had missed the previous five games with a pectoral injury. "Then the second half I felt like if we had one more quarter, we probably would have finished it the right way. Coach Coughlin said it and I agree with him, we were just a little too late."

"There is no explanation, no good explanation for that," Beckham said. "We have to do better. You can't do that to your teammates. It was a case of being a little too late in this game."

The Giants had trouble on both sides of the ball. Offensive linemen Justin Pugh (concussion) and Weston Richburg (ankle) were inactive, and guard Geoff Schwartz, who moved from right to left guard in Pugh's absence, fractured his lower left leg in the first quarter. Playing behind a makeshift line, Giants running backs totaled 33 yards on the ground.

The defense held Washington to only 2.8 yards a carry. But the unit did not have a sack, and was credited with just three hits on Kirk Cousins, who completed 20 of 29 passes for 302 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson. Cousins also scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak. Dustin Hopkins kicked field goals of 41 and 33 yards for the Redskins.

Manning threw interceptions on the Giants' first two series on passes that were tipped. But Washington failed to score off of its takeaways, in part because Jay Bromley blocked Hopkins' 51-yard field goal attempt.

Hopkins' first field goal broke the scoreless tie early in the second quarter. The Giants went three-and-out (Manning was sacked by Ryan Kerrigan on third down), and on the Redskins' next play, Cousins threw long to Jackson, who got behind safety Brandon Meriweather and scored the game's first touchdown.

"They threw it up in the air a mile and he ran, got behind the safety and they made a nice play," Coughlin said.

Cousins' quarterback sneak increased the Giants' halftime deficit to 17-0.

The Giants were poised to get back into the game early in the third quarter, when a 31-yard Beckham reception gave them a first-and-goal at the nine. But on third down from the four, Manning threw behind Randle in the end zone, and the ball was picked off by rookie Quinton Dunbar.

"That one's on me, just a bad throw," Manning said. "Thought I made a good read and got into it and had an open receiver. I have to put that in front and we get a touchdown right there. Just a poor throw on my part."

After Hopkins' second field goal early in the fourth quarter made it 20-0, the Giants finally rallied. Manning threw deep down the left side for Randle, who caught the ball at the 10 and stepped into the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown in fourth-and-16. After forcing Washington to punt, the Giants traveled 77 yards on nine plays, all Manning passes. The touchdown, with 4:57 remaining, covered 21 yards, and featured yet another diving, acrobatic catch by Beckham. But he was in no mood to discuss it after the game.

 

"It really doesn't matter, man," he said. "You get 60 minutes to play, and we didn't execute. We didn't do a good job, we came out flat. Too many mistakes, too many everything. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other team. They came out here fired up, came out to play and they did exactly that."

 

With momentum seemingly on their side, the Giants needed one stop to regain possession and have a chance to pull out an improbable victory. But on third-and-five from the Washington 28, tight end Jordan Reed (eight catches for 98 yards) eluded safety Craig Dahl and turned a short pass into a 20-yard gain.

 

"That was the play," Coughlin said. "It's a play where they're going to have to punt the ball back to us. We will have some time on the clock, and they make a first down. We didn't make that play when we needed to make that play, and sometimes it comes down to that."

On Sunday, it did too many times for the Giants.


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