Giants vs. Redskins: Winners and Losers from New York's 27-23 Win over Skins
Yet, Eli Manning kept his cool and led another game-winning drive and knocked off Washington, 27-23, at MetLife Stadium.
The win kept the Giants in first place of the NFC East and improved their record to 5-2.
It was also the first divisional win for the Giants in 2012 after losing their first two games against NFC opponents (Cowboys, Eagles).
The Giants will travel to Arlington next Sunday and look for revenge against the team that beat them back in Week 1: the Dallas Cowboys.
Let's break down who were the winners and losers for the Giants from the game against Washington.
Winner: Victor Cruz
Like I said earlier, the Giants were 98 seconds away from losing to the Redskins.
On second down, Eli Manning threw the ball deep to Victor Cruz, who had beaten all of the Redskins defenders. He was off to the races.
Cruz used his speed to burn the Redskins and scored the game-winning, 77-yard touchdown catch that put the Giants ahead 27-23 with 1:23 left in the game.
Cruz ended the game with seven catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.
Earlier in the game, Cruz nearly had another touchdown if Manning didn't force the ball so quickly and waited another second.
Cruz may be in the discussion for being the best slot receiver in the NFL right now with how deadly he is in open space.
Winner: Justin Tuck
It only took seven games, but Justin Tuck finally recorded his first sack of 2012.
A lot of people were getting worried about Tuck and if he was ever going to get his first sack of the season.
Tuck finally looked like the elite pass-rusher that he is against the Redskins and nearly had two sacks if not for Robert Griffin III getting the football out of his hands quickly.
Hopefully for the Giants, it'll be the first of many sacks for Tuck in 2012, because with him, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul all getting to the quarterback, it makes their defensive line that more fearsome.
Winner: Chase Blackburn
Chase Blackburn has really solidified himself as the starting middle linebacker.
On Sunday, he had seven tackles, but the bigger impact he made during the game was the two forced fumbles he created on the field.
After the Giants had scored to make the score 27-23, the Redskins got one last chance to win the game.
Robert Griffin III threw a pass to Josh Morgan, who was tackled by Blackburn, but then forced Morgan to fumble the ball. Morgan was able to recover the ball and keep it for Washington.
Two plays later, Griffin threw a pass to Santana Moss, who was again tackled by Blackburn, but Moss fumbled the ball which was recovered by Jayron Hosley. That sealed the victory for the Giants.
Blackburn might not be the best middle linebacker in the NFL, but Blackburn has helped stabilize a unit that was struggling one season ago.
Winner: Stevie Brown
With Kenny Phillips still on the sideline with an injured knee, Stevie Brown continues to play in place of Phillips.
On Sunday, Brown had a really good game with six tackles and one very big interception.
Toward the end of the third quarter, Robert Griffin III was attempting to drive his team down the field again and threw a pass toward Logan Paulsen. Brown picked off Griffin's pass and took it to Washington's 35-yard line for 41 yards.
Following Brown's pick, the Giants were able to convert the turnover into points with Ahmad Bradshaw's one-yard touchdown, which made it 20-13 Giants.
Getting Phillips back healthy is extremely important to the Giants defense, but with his absence, it's good to see the Giants have quality backups like Brown who can step in and perform at a high level.
Winner: Eli Manning
I came so close to putting Eli Manning on the losers list.
I could have after he threw two costly interceptions; one of which was in the fourth quarter that led to the Redskins scoring a field goal that made it 20-16.
But with the Giants trailing 23-20 with 1:38 to go, it was time for Manning to work his magic.
After not converting on first down, Manning threw the ball deep down the field right into Victor Cruz's hands. He took it 77 yards into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
It's the second time this season that Manning has led the Giants to a fourth-quarter comeback; he did the same back in Week 2 against the Buccaneers.
Granted, this may have been the worst game for Manning this season, and he would have taken the blame if the Giants had lost the game.
However, the bad interceptions are forgotten with the game-winning pass, and it shows that when the game is on the line, Manning still finds a way to come through.
Manning finished the game completing 26-of-40 for 337 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Loser: The Giants Secondary
Aside from the interception by Stevie Brown, the Giants secondary had a rather lousy game.
A couple of plays stick out in my mind on how bad they were on Sunday.
On a 4th-and-1 play, the Giants had a chance to get their defense off the field and give the ball back to the offense.
The defense had Robert Griffin III to roll out to the right and was left one-on-one against Corey Webster.
If Webster doesn't get faked out, he could have pushed Griffin out of bounds before the first-down marker, giving the Giants the ball back.
Instead, Griffin pump fakes, which caused Webster to leave his feet and jump, thus allowing Griffin to get by Webster for the first down.
The other play was nearly the game-winning touchdown for Washington.
With 1:38 left, Griffin threw the ball downfield to Santana Moss, who beat Jayron Hosley and caught the ball in the end zone, which put Washington up 23-20.
Eli Manning and Victor Cruz's touchdown bailed out the Giants secondary.
Loser: The Running Game
The Giants did get two of their touchdowns from Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown.
But neither running back exactly had their best games on Sunday against the Redskins.
Bradshaw had 12 carries for 43 yards with one touchdown, and Brown had five carries for 17 yards with one touchdown.
David Wilson did not even get a single carry in the game, which was surprising considering Bradshaw and Brown weren't having spectacular games.
On the other side, the Redskins' running attack had a great day.
Alfred Morris had 22 carries for 120 yards, and Robert Griffin III had nine carries for 89 yards.
Because the Giants had 300 yards receiving, it took away from the lack of running game the Giants provided on Sunday.
But the Giants can't continue that trend against the Cowboys next Sunday night.
Loser: Markus Kuhn
I didn't put Markus Kuhn on here because he had a terrible game against Washington.
The reason why he's on here is because the Giants got production out of their other two tackles.
The Giants saw Chris Canty return off the partial-IR, and he will likely take back his starting job.
Linval Joseph was a major factor on Sunday, as he forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.
In the third quarter. Joseph tacked Alfred Morris, who coughed up the ball and was recovered by Michael Boley.
In the fourth quarter, Robert Griffin III was sacked by Jason Pierre-Paul, who fumbled the ball and Joseph recovered it.
With Joseph making plays in the field and the return of Canty, it means that Kuhn likely goes back to being a reserve player on the bench instead of being a starter.
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