Giants end season with win over Redskins
East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Jerrel Jernigan scored both a rushing and receiving touchdown to help offset an injury to Eli Manning and lift the New York Giants to a 20-6 victory over the Washington Redskins as both NFC East rivals wrapped up disappointing seasons at MetLife Stadium.
Jernigan hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Manning in the second quarter and came through with a 49-yard scoring run in the third. He finished with 90 yards on six catches and added 57 yards on a pair of rushes.
Manning completed 10-of-24 throws for 152 yards with an interception before exiting with a sprained left ankle near the end of the first half, with Curtis Painter handling the offense over the final two quarters.
Painter managed a mere 11 yards and was intercepted once on 2-of-8 passing, but got a boost from a New York defense that limited the dysfunctional Redskins to 251 total yards and forced four turnovers.
"I told [Manning] and reassured him that [the defense] will take care of this," said Giants safety Antrel Rolle. "We'll bring back the 'W' to the locker room for him and just make sure you take care of yourself."
The win was the seventh in 10 games for the Giants (7-9) following an 0-6 start and sent Washington (3-13) to an eighth consecutive loss in what is widely speculated to be Mike Shanahan's last game as head coach of the Redskins.
"At the end of the day, you've got to win and we weren't able to do that for whatever reason," said Shanahan afterward. "I'm responsible for that and I'm disappointed we couldn't get that done."
Kirk Cousins and the Redskins' offense struggled throughout the afternoon, with the quarterback hitting on just 19-of-49 passes for 169 yards and tossing two interceptions.
Jernigan came with a pair of big catches on the only touchdown drive of the first half, a 6-play, 75-yard march that began with the Giants trailing 3-0 midway through the second quarter. The young receiver raced 30 yards to the Washington 29 after taking in a short pass, then came down with Manning's well-thrown ball into double coverage for a 24-yard score two plays later to put New York ahead with 5:21 remaining in the first half.
The Giants extended the margin with Josh Brown's 34-yard field goal on their next possession, a kick set up by a 35-yard connection from Manning to Hakeem Nicks.
On New York's following series, Manning came up limping after being hit by the Redskins' Chris Baker on an incompletion. He stayed in the game, but had his next attempt intercepted by Josh Wilson near midfield and walked gingerly to the sidelines before being helped to the locker room.
Washington was able to capitalize on the miscue, with Cousins making good on a pair of passes to get the Redskins in range for Kai Forbath's 49-yard field goal that cut the lead to 10-6 at the break.
The Redskins were down by just four at the half despite mustering only 66 yards and two first downs, having also converted a New York turnover into points on their initial score. Wilson recovered a fumble from Andre Brown at the Giants' 18 early in the second quarter, which led to Forbath's 31-yard field goal and a 3-0 edge.
The third quarter was marked by a driving rainstorm and several missed opportunities on both sides. Albert Morris fumbled at his own 16-yard line on Washington's first play to give the Giants great field position, but Painter had a pass bounce off tight end Brandon Myers in the end zone two plays later and the Redskins' Reed Doughty snared the carom for an interception.
A pair of Cousins completions to Pierre Garcon got Washington inside the New York 15 later in the period, but the Redskins came up empty when Justin Tuck sacked Cousins and the Giants' Linval Joseph pounced on the resulting fumble. Washington's next drive ended in Trumaine McBride intercepting Cousins with the Redskins again in scoring range.
Washington never threatened again, and Jernigan put the game out of reach with a highlight-reel touchdown on the final play of the third quarter.
Lined up in the backfield, he took a handoff from Painter and burst into open space after waiting for a hole, then outraced the Washington defense for a 49- yard touchdown that lengthened the Giants' lead to 17-6.
"It wasn't like we drew it up because the end didn't pinch at all," said Jernigan of the play. "He widened out, so I just saw the cutback lane and I cut back. [Teammates] Bear Pascoe and Louis Murphy made some great blocks out there and I just hit it and went."
After the Redskins turned the ball over on downs around midfield, New York put together a run-heavy 11-play, 33-yard sequence that ended in Josh Brown's 38- yard field goal with 4:53 to go.
In addition to Manning, Nicks (ankle), wide receiver Rueben Randle (knee) and offensive tackle Will Beatty (broken right leg) left the game with injuries for New York ... Washington's eight-game losing streak is the franchise's longest in a season since the 1961 Redskins dropped their first nine contests, while the 3-13 record is the club's worst since producing the same mark under Norv Turner in 1994 ... Garcon had six catches totaling 56 yards and became only the second player in NFL history with five or more receptions in all 16 regular-season games, joining Jacksonville's Jimmy Smith in 2001 ... Tuck, who recorded a career-high four sacks in New York's 24-17 win over the Redskins in Week 13, had two for the game ... Retiring Redskins linebacker London Fletcher had seven tackles and two passes defensed in the final game of his 16-year career.
12/29 18:21:48 ET