EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — As Colt McCoy warmed up on the field Sunday morning, the question was no longer whether he would play against the New York Giants, but for how long.
The Redskins got their answer almost immediately. McCoy was walloped on a scramble up the middle during the team’s first drive of the game and only played 12 snaps. Quarterback Robert Griffin III entered the game on the second drive and led the team to a temporary lead later in the half, but ultimately he could not complete a fourth-quarter comeback. The result was another loss in a season filled with them, as Washington fell to New York, 24-13.
Giants rookie Odell Beckham finished with 12 catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns, gashing a secondary that has been susceptible to big plays all season. The Redskins fell to 3-11 on the season and have now lost six straight games for a second consecutive season.
Griffin completed 18 of 27 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown, a 9-yard swing pass to running back Chris Thompson midway through the second quarter. He also ran 5 times for 46 yards.
McCoy watched most of the game from the sidelines, wearing a heavy burgundy coat over his uniform and shoulder pads. He was limited in practice all week because of a pinched nerve in his neck, and it was unclear whether a hard hit would aggravate the injury. It only took one drive to find out.
Griffin entered and got off to a fast start, completing each of his first six passes for 75 yards, including the touchdown. The Redskins had a lead, and were marching down the field in the waning moments of the first half. Then the momentum swung violently, all within a total of 10 seconds of regulation.
With eight seconds left in the first half, the Redskins elected to run one final play before attempting a field goal. Griffin scramble to his right, charged toward the corner of the end zone and dove across the goal line for an apparent touchdown. However, a video review of the play reversed the call, with referee Jeff Triplette explaining that Griffin lost possession of the ball while in the air.
It appeared that there was still time remaining on the clock at the conclusion of the play, but Triplette signaled for the end of the half. Coach Jay Gruden jogged toward Triplette to argue the call, followed by several Redskins players. Wide receiver Santana Moss was particularly irate, yelling at Triplette until the referee threw a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct and subsequently ejected Moss from the game.
The penalties were enforced at the beginning of the second half, moving the location of Josh Brown’s kick-off to the Redskins’ 35-yard-line. And with that sort of favorable field position, the Giants figured they had nothing to lose by trying an onside kick. It worked. New York recovered the kick at the 17-yard-line but was held to a field goal.
The Redskins rallied later in the third quarter, marching 73 yards on eight plays for another Kai Forbath field goal. But the Giants answered easily, ripping Washington’s secondary to shreds and praying on whomever was trying to cover Beckham. The No. 12 overall selection in April’s draft routinely beat his man, collecting touchdown passes of 35 yards in the third quarter and six yards in the fourth.
Washington mustered only one field goal in the second half. Players left the field quickly, another loss behind them and only two more games left to play.