Redskins look lost in final loss to Giants

Redskins look lost in final loss to Giants
December 29, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Who should be the Redskins next coach?

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan during warmups before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

East Rutherford, N.J. -- 

Game Recap: It was raining. It was cold. The stadium was barely half full at kickoff. 

In other words, the morose scene at MetLife Stadium provided a fitting conclusion to one of the worst seasons in Redskins’ history.

The 20-6 loss to the Giants was Washington’s eighth in a row, its longest losing streak since 1960. It also clinched the team’s worst record—3-13—since 1994, Norv Turner’s first season.

But the outcome was only a small part of the story line on a soggy Sunday afternoon in the Meadowlands. In the minutes leading up to the kickoff, multiple outlets reported that Coach Mike Shanahan will be fired, thus ending his four-season tenure.

[RELATED: Reports - Shanahan to be fired]

Shanahan has one year remaining on the five-year, $35 million contract he signed in 2010. He entered the game with a 24-39 record and, more important, a fractured relationship with the team’s star quarterback, Robert Griffin III, whom he benched three games ago.

The product on the field, meantime, was no less miserable than the Redskins’ current state of affairs.

The Giants led 10-6 at halftime, with Washington having amassed only 66 total yards in the first 30 minutes. And it got no better in the second half for the visitors.

Although the Giants lost quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to ankle injuries and left tackle Will Beatty to a broken leg, Kirk Cousins (19 of 49 for 169 yards, two interceptions and a fumble lost) and the Redskins’ offense never could get going against New York’s 12th-ranked defense.

Wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan delivered the knockout blow on the final play of the third quarter, taking a reverse 49 yards for a touchdown that put the Giants ahead 17-6. It was Jernigan’s second touchdown of the game; he entered with one touchdown all season.

Indeed, just about the only thing that went the Redskins’ way was the Texans loss to the Titans. As a result, the pick the Redskins traded to the Rams in the Griffin deal will be the No. 2 overall, not the No. 1.

[MORE REDSKINS: Redskins finish historically bad season]

Key Moment: Late in the third quarter, Giants Coach Tom Coughlin challenged the spot of the ball on a play that had been ruled a first down for the Redskins. The ruling was reversed, the Redskins punted and, a play after that, Jernigan was slicing through the Washington defense for the clinching score.

Player of the Game: Giants’ defensive end Justin Tuck. He registered four tackles and two sacks, including a sack-fumble in the third quarter that stalled a Redskins’ drive on the New York 15-yard line. The Giants were clinging to a 10-6 lead at the time. 

Injury/roster Update: Brian Orakpo (groin muscle strain) was inactive. He was considered a long shot to suit up anyway, given the Redskins’ record and the fact that he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Joining Orakpo was wide receiver Josh Morgan, who was deactivated for the second time this season. Morgan’s effort level has been questioned in recent weeks. It’s possible that Orakpo and Morgan—both unrestricted free agents—have played their final games in the burgundy and gold. …Cornerback Josh Wilson left the game late in the second quarter with a left calf injury and did not return. He was also evaluated for a concussion but was cleared. 

From the Locker Room: Please check back later for notes, quotes and reaction from the Redskins’ locker room.