10.22.2012 / Blog Posts Redskins
Around The Water Cooler: Redskins Lose To Giants, 27-23
The Washington Redskins yesterday were one minute and 13 seconds away from escaping with a thrilling, last-minute win over the defending Super Bowl champions. But New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning had other plans, and his 77-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz provided the dagger in the Redskins’ 27-23 loss to the Giants in front of 81,352 fans at MetLife Stadium.
Had it not been for Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III’s heroics just more than one minute prior to that Giants touchdown, however, Washington would’ve never been in the position to have a shot at winning the game. New York had taken a 20-13 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter; that lead that was cut to 20-16 about seven minutes later after a field goal by Redskins kicker Kai Forbath.
The Giants’ offense was held in check on their next possession and was forced to punt, giving the ball back to the Redskins and Griffin III for a potential game-winning drive with 2:59 remaining. The drive didn’t start on a promising note, as Griffin III threw two incompletions and completed a pass to running back Evan Royster for no gain.
With 2:07 remaining in the game, the Redskins’ offense lined up to attempt to convert a first down on a very unfavorable 4th down with 10 yards to go. Griffin III, lined up in the shotgun formation, dropped back to pass, and was flushed out of the pocket by a Giants defensive lineman. He ran to his left with another Giants defender chasing him and took three big steps backwards to elude him, then ran up and to his right to avoid yet another New York defender approaching from behind. While leaning on his back foot and falling down, he found tight end Logan Paulsen wide open in the middle of the field for a 19-yard gain, as the Redskins converted the unlikely 4th-and-10 attempt.
The impressive aspect about the play was that, by scrambling around and avoiding so many defenders, Griffin III bought his receivers an extra eight seconds to get open – which is exactly what Paulsen did. Three plays later, Griffin III found wide receiver Santana Moss on a perfect pass over the shoulder in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown, and, after the extra point, the Redskins led 23-20 with 1:38 remaining in the game.
As fate would have it, the home team also got a final game-winning chance – and they capitalized. After taking the kickoff to the 29-yard line and then not being able to complete a pass on their first play of the final drive, Manning launched a deep pass down the middle to Cruz, who had sprinted past the Redskins’ defense and was wide open. Cruz did the rest from there, running 77 yards for the backbreaking go-ahead touchdown.
In football, many say there are no moral victories; either you win or you lose the game. And though the Redskins certainly left New York yesterday disappointed with the outcome of the game, they learned they can hang with – if not beat – one of the best teams in their division and the defending Super Bowl champions. A young, improving team, the Redskins hope to learn from yesterday’s loss and use it as added incentive as they head into Pittsburgh on Sunday to play the Steelers.
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