All night long Redskins running back Alfred Morris ran hard, broke tackles, and kept the chains moving. So it surprised no one when on the final play of the game, a third-and-three, Morris broke the would-be tackle of Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty and picked up six yards to end the game. The FedEx Field crowd was ecstatic and fullback Darrel Young repeatedly pumped his fist in the air in celebration of this crucial victory.
In another must-win contest, the Redskins stepped up to the challenge and beat the Giants 17-16 to reach .500 and stay firmly in the playoff race. The victory puts them only one game behind the division-leading Giants with four games remaining. Washington trails Seattle by just one game in the NFC for the last playoff spot. The Redskins have not qualified for a playoff berth since 2007. Last night’s win over the Giants represents the first time the Redskins have been at .500 in December since 2008.
Both outside and inside the stadium, the atmosphere was absolutely electric. It was clearly more intense than it has been for a Redskins home game in many years. Prior to the game, the parking lots were packed with tailgaters. The game was so important for both teams that it felt like a playoff game. Even though the Giants controlled the clock, the game was decided by the Redskins’ big plays.
New York dominated the first half in time of possession (20:32) and yards (273-156), but could only take a 13-10 lead due to a 40-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes as the first half ended.
The Redskins were able to stay in the game because of big plays. Washington responded to Tynes first field goal of the game with a touchdown drive for a 7-3 lead. In that drive, the Redskins needed only four plays to travel 80 yards for the score. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III hit wide receiver Pierre Garcon with a 25-yard pass, which was followed by two runs by Morris, one for 19 yards and the other for 8 yards. Then came the strangest play of the game: a 12-yard scamper by Griffin in which he fumbled just prior to contacting the turf while sliding. The ball bounced airborne and to the left where Joshua Morgan grabbed it and ran the final 16 yards for the score.
Once again, the Redskins rookie backfield was impressive. Morris had 124 yards on 22 carries, and Griffin passed for 163 yards and ran for another 72.