EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Dustin Hopkins kicked a 37-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter for his fifth of the game and the Washington Redskins avoid a near-disastrous 0-3 start with a 29-27 win over the penalty- and error-prone New York Giants on Sunday.
Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes of 44 yards to DeSean Jackson and 55 to Jamison Crowder as the banged-up Redskins (1-2) handed new coach Ben McAdoo his first loss with the Giants (2-1).
Su’a Cravens ended the Giants’ final drive with an interception in New York territory. It was Eli Manning’s second pick of the quarter, with the other coming in the end zone by Quinton Dunbar after New York got to the Redskins 15 on a big play by Odell Beckham Jr.
This was a wild NFC East matchup that see-sawed the entire second half after Washington rallied from a 21-9 deficit.
The fourth quarter was wild with the matchup of Beckham and Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, leading to big plays by Beckham, an ejection of Giants center Weston Richburg and a personal foul against Norman for a big hit on Sterling Shepard.
In the end, Washington made the big plays in avoiding the 0-3 start. Only three teams since 1990 have made the playoffs after losing three in row to start the season.
The Giants had 11 penalties 128 yards, including a third-down hit to the helmet by Olivier Vernon that kept the Redskins’ game-winning drive alive.
Shane Vereen scored on a 1-yard run, Manning threw a 23-yard TD to Shepard and Orleans Darkwa scored on a 2-yard run for New York. Josh Brown kicked two short field goals, the last a 30-yarder that gave New York a 27-26 lead with 7:53 to play.
INJURIES GALORE: The Redskins lost four players to injuries in the game: C Kory Lichtensteiger (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (calf), CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle) and S DeAngelo Hall (knee). The Giants had CBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) and Eli Apple (hamstring) leave.
SPECIAL TEAMS: It was an exciting day for the guys from specials. Crowder’s 50-yard punt return and a 31-yard fourth-down pass by punter Tress Way to Dunbar set up two of Hopkins’ field goals. Dunbar, however, muffed a punt that led to Vereen’s TD early in the game.
YOU’RE OUT: Richburg was ejected early in the fourth quarter for picking up two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The second came when he blocked and then taunted Norman following a 24-yard catch and run by Beckham. Norman had picked up a personal foul for a hit on Shepard. The Giants had a blocked punt by Romeo Okwara nullified with just over 11 minutes to play by a personal foul against Andrew Adams, who was added to the roster Saturday.
NEAR-COSTLY GAMBLE: The Redskins lost a cheap-shot field goal at the end of the first half when they elected to run a play from the Giants 4 with 6 seconds left. Jason Pierre-Paul had a sack and forced fumble on Cousins and the clock ran out.