The Washington Redskins' last chance Sunday night vanished in a bizarre sequence that included a controversial ruling by the officials.
With the New York Giants leading 24-17 two minutes left in the game, the Redskins had a second-and-5 from their own 41-yard line. Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III connected with wide receiver Pierre Garcon on a short pass. After apparently ruling it a first down, the officials made it third down -- without notifying the Redskins.
"I told (an official) I wanted a measurement because I knew it was close," Washington coach Mike Shanahan said. "It was inches, and he said, 'You don't have to (measure); it's a first down.' I saw it was a first down on the other side and he signaled to move the chains on our side."
A deep pass intended for tight end Fred Davis fell incomplete, and that's when Shanahan discovered the next play would be fourth down, not second down.
"After I saw it was fourth down, I asked him, 'You already told me it was a first down.' It was quite disappointing," Shanahan said.
The controversy was rendered moot on the next play. Garcon made a 6-yard reception for a first down, but Giants safety Will Hill wrestled the ball away from him to seal New York's 24-17 win.
Shanahan said the miscommunication affected the team's play-calling in the sequence.
Referee Jeff Triplette told a pool reporter that Garcon's catch was not ruled a first down on the field, and that the chains and down marker were changed incorrectly. Asked about Shanahan's comment that he was told by an official it was a first down, Triplette said, "I can't respond to that. I don't know what happened. I just know that we signaled third down on the play at the sideline, made it third.
"I feel like we signaled third down. The stakes just got moved incorrectly."