COMMENTARY | The New York Giants probably didn't deserve to win the first game they played against the Washington Redskins this season on October 21. But they did, 27-23, on Eli Manning's late, 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz at MetLife Stadium. They weren't so lucky the second time around.
In the Monday Night Football rematch at FedEx Field on December 3, the G-Men got what they deserved. The Redskins defeated the mistake-prone Giants, 17-16, as Alfred Morris rushed for 124 yards and Robert Griffin III threw for 163 yards and tossed the game-winning TD. However, the Giants (7-5) have nobody to blame but themselves after committing numerous costly penalties and failing to stop the run. Basically, the Redskins pushed the Giants all over the field.
No, it's wasn't rocket science.
"This is not real complicated," coach Tom Coughlin told the media in his post-game press conference. "I don't know what happened in the second half. We certainly didn't come out and play. Penalties, sloppy football, it seemed like every time we had a special teams play we had a penalty."
Sure, the Redskins (6-6) deserve credit. They won a must-in game in their building. But it felt like the Giants beat themselves. Don't blame Manning, who completed 20 of 33 passes for 280 yards and a four-yard touchdown to Martellus Bennett late in the second quarter to give New York a 10-7 lead. Everything seemed to be clicking, as Big Blue took a 13-10 lead into halftime.
But New York couldn't hold off the Redskins in crunch time, normally Manning's time, as Griffin tossed an eight-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon with 11:31 left in the game. The Giants, who yielded 370 total yards of offense (207 on the ground), blew a second-half lead for the first time in 27 road contests. In the process, they left the door wide open in the NFC East when a victory would have slammed it shut.
New York still has a one-game lead over both the Redskins and Dallas Cowboys in the division, so there's no need to panic. But if the Giants don't play better than they did in Washington, they're going to get what they deserve at the end of the season, too. And it won't be a trip to the playoffs.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. He proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.