- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After playing one of their best games in years in a win over the St. Louis Rams, the Washington Redskins felt they were on the right track.

The running game was going. Kirk Cousins was hitting three-quarters of his passes, and the defense was ranked No. 1 in the NFL.

It was all there — until the Redskins of old showed up and the Giants took advantage in a 32-21 win Thursday night that wasn’t that close.

The Giants scored in nearly every way possible, beginning with Rashad Jennings blocking Tress Way’s punt for a safety on Washington’s opening series. Andre Williams scored on a one-yard run after an interception, Josh Brown kicked three field goals, and Odell Beckham Jr. toasted Bashaud Breeland to settle matters. Rueben Randle had a 41-yard touchdown catch in the closing minutes, after which Washington’s Rashad Ross returned the kickoff 101 yards for the final score.

“Really nobody played good enough tonight to win,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “The offensive line, the defensive line, special teams, the defensive backs. Last week I thought it was a total team effort in the victory. This week, it was a total team effort in the loss. We’re consistent in that regard.”

The Giants fell apart in the fourth quarter of losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons. This time, the Giants (1-2) dominated most of the action against the injury-plagued Redskins (1-2), who lost veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall to a sprained toe on his right foot in the third quarter.

“It’s definitely important to get a win,” Jennings said. “I’m reluctant to use the word confidence, but it puts assurance on everything we know we’re capable of accomplishing. There’s a lot of stuff we still need to clean up, obviously, but it feels good to get a win. That’s a good team in our division, and now we’ve got a week to rest up.”

New York also led at halftime and through three quarters of its losses to the Cowboys and Falcons.

Prince Amukamara and Uani Unga had interceptions of Kirk Cousins, who struggled once more against New York. Last season, he threw four picks in a loss to New York in prime time.

“We are a good team, we just have to prove it every time we step on the field,” Redskins left tackle Trent Williams said. “We’re just not doing it now.”

Washington, which has lost five consecutive games to the Giants, got field goals of 44 and 37 yards from Dustin Hopkins, but any thoughts of a comeback ended when Matt Jones fumbled on his way into the end zone with 9:42 remaining. A late four-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson and a two-point conversion brought the deficit to 11, then Randle made his scoring catch.

The victory provides some optimism for the Giants in the muddled NFC East, where Dallas is 2-0 but missing several stars, and the Philadelphia Eagles are 0-2.

Eli Manning, who struggled in key situations in the previous two defeats, was coolly efficient, finishing 23 of 31 for 279 yards. Beckham had seven receptions for 79 yards, and Randle had seven for 116.

The Giants were super-aggressive with the blitz, with inconsistent results. Cousins‘ mobility helped him avoid sacks, but the sloppy Redskins couldn’t find the end zone until it was too late.

New York, meanwhile, was scoring with variety. Jennings, who rushed for only 32 yards on the night, surged through to block Way’s punt out of the side of the end zone for a quick 2-0 lead.

That increased to 9-0 after Amukamara jumped Pierre Garcon’s route and picked off Cousins‘ pass deep in Washington territory. Williams rushed a yard for the touchdown four plays later.

“We just couldn’t get off the field,” Redskins nose tackle Terrance Knighton said. “They have an elite quarterback. He found something in our defense that he exposed. It’s early in the season and we’ll watch the tape. This is a long season and this is not the same team in past years, where we’ll just pack it in. We’ll see where it goes.”

Big plays by Randle, who had a 30-yard reception, and Daniel Fells, who made a one-handed catch for 23 yards on third down, set up Josh Brown’s field goals of 35 and 36 yards in the first half. Brown made a 48-yarder in the third period.

New York was missing five starters, including top draft pick Ereck Flowers at left tackle and cornerback Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, because of injuries. Washington was hit with several injuries during the game, the worst of which appeared to be Hall’s. He had to be helped to the sideline, unable to put any weight on the leg.

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