Giants lose Manning, beat Washington 20-6

Patti Traina, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan scored two touchdowns and the New York Giants topped the Washington Redskins 20-6 at a rain-soaked MetLife Stadium, which was mostly empty by the time the teams left the field to end failed 2013 seasons.
An ugly finale featured seven turnovers as the snake-bitten Giants lost quarterback Eli Manning and starting wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to sprained ankles in the second quarter, and left tackle Will Beatty to a fractured right leg early in the third quarter.
New York won the game to deal the Redskins an eighth straight loss to end the season.
Manning's first pass of the 2013 season was intercepted at Dallas and his last was picked on Sunday in the second quarter on what was his final attempt of the season. Manning limped to the locker room before halftime and did not return to the game.
Redskins defensive lineman Chris Baker rolled up on Manning's ankle just as he threw an incomplete pass to running back Peyton Hillis.
On the ensuing play, Manning tried to connect with tight end Brandon Myers, but couldn't drop back or step into his throw. The ball was picked off by Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson to set up kicker Kai Forbath's 49-yard field goal which gave the Giants a 10-6 lead.
Before being relieved by Curtis Painter in the second half, Manning had connected with Jernigan on a 24-yard touchdown pass to give the Giants a 7-3 lead. He also engineered the team's second scoring drive of the game that ended in Josh Brown's 34-yard field goal.
Painter completed only two passes for 11 yards and was intercepted once in the second half. He fumbled twice, but the Giants recovered both.
The Redskins broke a scoreless deadlock in the second quarter thanks to Forbath's 31-yard field goal set up when Giants running back Andre Brown fumbled the ball away at the Giants' 18. Forbath went on to add a 49-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter.
The Giants added to their lead on a 49-yard end-around touchdown run by Jernigan as time expired in the third quarter to take a 17-6 lead and then a 38-yard field goal by Brown with 4:53 left in the game.
Jernigan's run was the Giants' longest from scrimmage since running back Brandon Jacobs ran for 37 yards against Dallas on Nov. 24.
Jernigan, who has stepped up following Victor Cruz's season-ending knee surgery, finished the game as the Giants leading receiver with 90 yards on six receptions to go along with his 57 rushing yards on two carries.
"It's a great feeling to come out here and contribute," Jernigan said. "Coach (Coughlin) had been telling me through the weeks I'll get my opportunity to go out there and make plays for the team. I also wanted to let the coaching staff and the organization know that I can make plays, even when Victor (Cruz) comes back."
With the win, the Giants (7-9), who started the season 0-6 finished by winning seven of their last 10 games.
"I was proud of the way they stayed together as a team," said head coach Tom Coughlin.
"We had good leadership. Our captains did a nice job, and they can't do it alone. The attitude and approach that this team took regardless of some of the very difficult Mondays we had was very impressive from the standpoint of maturity and professionalism, and I was proud of that."
The Redskins (3-13) had only 12 first downs in 18 possessions and totaled 251 yards total offense. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked three times, threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and had a 31.8 passer rating.
Cousins took over as the starter for the final three games of the regular season, replacing Robert Griffin III to post a 96.1 passer rating. He went 81 of 155 for 854 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Cousins said he is pleased with the foundation he built.
"It hasn't all been perfect," he said. "I think I was able to do some good things, but just the fact that I was in here able to make mistakes and be put in these situations develops me as a quarterback and a person is going to serve me well, even if I come back here as a backup."
They face an offseason of uncertainty starting with coaching situation. Head coach Mike Shanahan is believed to be in danger of losing his job with one year remaining on a five-year, $35 million deal signed in 2009.
Shanahan refused to speculate on his future, but did say that he had a meeting set up for Monday morning with team owner Daniel Snyder, reportedly at 9 a.m. EST.
"I'll get a chance to talk to Dan tomorrow and then hopefully I'll get a chance to talk to you guys, and then you guys can ask me all those questions," Shanahan said.
NOTES: Giants K Josh Brown missed a 50-yard field goal attempt on the Giants' first drive in the second quarter. It was his first miss since Sept. 29, a 31-7 loss to Kansas City. ... With the loss, the Redskins finish their 2013 with an eight-game losing streak. They also finish the season winless against division opponents, and have not won a regular-season finale on the road since the 2005 season. ... The Giants finished without a 1,000-yard receiver for the first time since 2008 season. The Giants also finished the season without a 1,000-yard rusher. The last time they had no 1,000-yard runner or receiver was 2004. ... Redskins ILB London Fletcher, who is expected to retire, finished his NFL career having played in 256 consecutive NFL games, a streak that includes 215 consecutive regular-season starts.

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