Redskins flat second half costly against Giants

Redskins flat second half costly against Giants
December 1, 2013, 11:15 pm
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Shanahan explains first down referee controversy

Game Recap: The competitive portion of the Redskins’ season officially came to end Sunday night. 

After opening an early two-touchdown lead, Eli Manning and Andre Brown rallied the visitors to a 24-17 victory at FedEx Field.

The Giants’ win was their fifth in the last six games and boosted their record to 5-7. The Redskins, meantime, lost for the fourth straight game and fell to 3-9.

More importantly, though, Robert Griffin III (207 yards passing, 88 rushing) and Co. also were eliminated from the playoffs a year after claiming the NFC East title.

Kai Forbath kicked a 33-yard field goal late in the third quarter to stake Washington to a 17-14 lead.

Then Washington had another meltdown on special teams. Long snapper Kyle Nelson dribbled a snap to punter Sav Rocca, whose punt was partially blocked by Damontre Moore, setting up the Giants near midfield. Just four plays later, Brown (two touchdowns) was in the end zone and New York had a 21-17 lead with 14:26 left to play.

The Redskins couldn’t get anything going on their next two drives and Giants kicker Josh Brown booted a 39-yard field goal to put New York ahead 24-17 with 2:32 left to play.

[RELATEDReferees, Shanahan explain controversy at end of Redskins-Giants]

On the Redskins’ final drive, safety Will Hill ripped the ball from Pierre Garçon’s hands, effectively ending the Redskins’ playoff hopes while doing it in fitting fashion.

Key moment: Nelson’s unfortunate snap. Every game, it seems, the special teams units have committed a costly blunder. Tonight, it was a botched snap and punt.

Player of the Game: Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who finished with four sacks. All of Tuck’s sacks came in the second half. The veteran came into the night with 2.5 in 11 games.

Roster Update: Cornerback Chase Minnifield was signed off the practice squad on Friday and was poised to make his NFL debut. But he was inactive for his first game on the Redskins’ 53-man roster. 

Injury Update: Tight end Jordan Reed had been expected to make his return from the concussion that sidelined him against the 49ers. But a setback made him a late scratch. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported via Twitter that Reed suffered a headache before the game. Reed was replaced in the lineup by Fred Davis. 

Safety Reed Doughty left the game after halftime with a concussion, the team said. His last play came with 2:45 remaining in the second quarter after a helmet-to-helmet hit with Giants fullback John Conner. Doughty also suffered a concussion against Chicago and sat out the game in Denver.

Fullback Darrel Young (hamstring) and tight end Niles Paul (illness) were also sidelined. Because Paul is Young’s backup at fullback, the Redskins had to get creative. Tight end Logan Paulsen and seldom-used running back Evan Royster rotated at fullback.

[MORE: Redskins abandon Alfred Morris in run game]

From the Locker Room:
--Jordan Reed said he wasn’t able to talk to reporters, which is a team rule for players who have a concussion.

--DeAngelo Hall said he suffered a hip injury after getting “slammed” by a Giants offensive lineman. He walked out of the locker room with a limp and said he expects to undergo some tests—possible an MRI—on Monday morning.

--Coach Mike Shanahan said linebacker London Fletcher suffered a sprained ankle late in the game. “He looked like he sprained it pretty good,” he said. “How bad, I can’t tell you at this time.”

--Shanahan on the late game first down/fourth down mix-up: “I told him I wanted a measurement because I knew it was close. It was inches and he said, ‘no, it’s a first down.’ He moved the chains. Then, after I saw it was a fourth down, I [told] him you already told me it was a first down. That was quite disappointing.”

--Shanahan on Morris’ lack of carries: “Well, he had eleven carries in the first half and he was averaging about a yard-and-a-half a carry. That’s one reason why you probably go away from it a little more.”

--Santana Moss on his unsportsmanlike penalty: “He called a holding and I just thought it was a B.S. call. And I told him it was a B.S. call and he gave me unsportsmanlike conduct. I guess I got an unsportsmanlike conduct for saying, ‘B.S. call.’”

--RG3 on the miscommunication with Pierre Garçon that led to Garçon’s penalty for kicking the ball: “Just going over the picture and make sure when we get the right looks that we what we need to hit. And on that one we didn’t. Yeah, there was a little frustration. But it’s all frustration because we want to win football games. He knows he can’t [kick the ball]. We have to keep our composure.”