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Redskins Come Up Short in New York

Charles E. Sutton | 10/22/2012, 2:10 p.m.

There's no doubt that Robert Griffin III is becoming one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL. However, with the game on the line, there is no better quarterback than Eli Manning.

Manning hit wide receiver Victor Cruz in stride for a 77-yard touchdown pass with 1:13 remaining that upstaged the Redskins' rookie star. The game-changing play allowed the New York Giants to overcome a late touchdown pass by Griffin to beat the Washington Redskins 27-23 on Sunday.

The Giants' winning drive was the 22nd of Manning's pro career in either the fourth period or overtime, his eighth over the last two seasons and second this season. Of all those passes, this one may have been the most unlikely.

It came two plays and 19 seconds after Griffin led the Redskins on a 77-yard drive which ended with a 30-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santana Moss. On a fourth-and-10 play deep in Redskins' territory, the Heisman Trophy winner kept the drive alive with a 19-yard toss off a great scramble. On the next play he had a 24-yard run.

Manning has come through in the clutch so often that surprisingly, very few people are surprised. As strange as it may sound, what we witnessed on Sunday is becoming somewhat routine. In addition, his skill set is improving and he may be the most feared quarterback in the fourth period.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was disappointed that defensive backs Madieu Williams and Josh Wilson let Cruz get behind them on the seam pattern. But, he agreed that Manning can be deadly in the fourth period.

"He sure proved it today," Shanahan said during the Redskins' post-game press conference. "It was a great throw. He was double-covered but [Manning] put it right on the money."

The Giants were victorious largely due to four second-half Redskins' turnovers, including fumbles by rookie running back Alfred Morris, Griffin, and Moss, who got separated from the ball after making a catch on Washington's last offensive play of the game. Griffin also threw an interception. The Redskins had committed only five turnovers all season prior to Sunday's loss.

In spite of the offensive miscues and the defensive lapses down the stretch, the Redskins still had a legitimate chance to win. They went on the road and played a competitive game against the defending champions. This should help to improve the team's confidence.