Josh Doctson caught a game-winning 14-yard touchdown pass with 3:31 remaining and Jamison Crowder hauled in seven passes for 141 yards and one score as the Washington Redskins defeated the New York Giants 20-10 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.
With the win, the Washington Redskins improved to 5-6 and moved one-and-a-half games behind the Atlanta Falcons for the final NFC wild-card spot. The New York Giants fell to 2-9.
The Doctson touchdown capped an eight-play, 60-yard drive that took five minutes off the clock. The former TCU Horned Frog beat the tight coverage of Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins to give the 'Skins the lead:
Cian Fahey of ESPN and Pre Snap Reads offered praise of the 2016 first-round pick, who is emerging as a strong weapon in the Redskin passing attack after missing most of his rookie season with an Achilles injury:
Elsewhere, Crowder's speed, agility and route running caused problems for the Giants in a game where neither team could generate much offense otherwise.
With the score tied at three early in the third quarter, Crowder caught a 33-yard pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins, who beat a Giants blitz and threw a dart down the middle of the field to put the 'Skins at the 7-yard line:
A sack and false start forced the Redskins back to the 15-yard line, but Crowder found a gap and hauled in a touchdown catch to put Washington in the lead:
Katie Sharp of River Avenue Blues noted how productive Crowder was relative to the entire Giants offense at one point:
Mike Clay of ESPN also pointed out Crowder's dramatic midseason turnaround:
Crowder's touchdown did not prove to be the winning score thanks to Jenkins, who caught an overthrown ball from Cousins and returned it 53 yards for his team's only trip to the end zone:
Returning interceptions for touchdowns has become a habit for Jenkins, per NFL Research:
Following an extra point, the Giants tied the score at 10.
The first half was an ugly affair, as Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post pointed out:
Of note, New York and Washington combined for just 35 yards over the game's first five possessions. The longest play was a 12-yard pass to Washington running back Byron Marshall.
Matt Harmon of NFL.com had the right idea here:
Each team had a tough time offensively. Giants quarterback Eli Manning was just 7-of-14 for 60 yards in the first half. Cousins didn't fare much better (10-of-18, 115 yards), but he somehow led his team with just seven rushing yards at halftime. Rookie Samaje Perine, who ran for 117 yards last week, could only muster three yards on five carries after 30 minutes, although he caught fire in the second half and finished with 100 on the night.
After 26 scoreless minutes, Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas knocked a 30-yard field goal through the uprights to give Big Blue a 3-0 advantage. Washington's Nick Rose responded with a 28-yarder just before the half ended.
Ultimately, the two teams have suffered key injuries all season, and those losses showed Thursday. The Giants sorely missed wideouts Odell Beckham Jr.'s and Sterling Shepard's abilities to stretch the field, as they were out due to ankle surgery and migraines, respectively. Similarly, the Redskins could have used running back Chris Thompson's talents to move the sticks in the pass game, though he was sidelined due to a broken fibula.
Manning finished with just 113 yards and one interception on 13-of-27 passing. Cousins completed 19 of 31 attempts for 242 yards, two touchdowns and one pick.