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(Sunday, January 2nd)
Final Score: NY Giants 17, Washington 14
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Eli Manning and the New York Giants took advantage of four turnovers to win their season-finale against the Washington Redskins, 17-14, but still fell short of making the playoffs because of a Packers victory over the Bears.
New York and Green Bay both finished the regular season with 10-6 records, but because the Packers defeated the Giants 45-17 last week, they were awarded the final wild card spot in the NFC via a tiebreaker.
"It hurts. It hurts a lot. That's what you're trying to accomplish," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We want to be in the playoffs -- that's what this thing's all about."
Green Bay earned a 10-3 win over the Bears on Sunday, and the Giants knew they were out before their own game was over.
"There was under two minutes left in the game and they showed it up on the Jumbotron that Chicago had thrown an interception and they wrapped up the game," Manning said. "At that point our defense was on the field and trying to get a stop."
Manning completed 17-of-29 passes with an interception and threw for 243 yards, most coming on a 92-yard touchdown to Mario Manningham.
Rex Grossman ended with 336 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted once and lost two fumbles for the Redskins (6-10), who were trying to end an otherwise forgettable campaign with two straight wins.
"It was one of those seasons where we had so much in mind, where we wanted to be and we couldn't get it accomplished," said Redskins receiver Santana Moss.
Washington failed three times in Giants territory early in the fourth quarter but pulled within 17-14 when Anthony Armstrong got open with a double move and hauled in a 64-yard touchdown with 5:52 remaining.
New York moved the chains twice before punting away with just over two minutes remaining, then forced Grossman into an incomplete pass on 4th-and-4 from the Washington 36-yard line to seal the bitter sweet win.
The Giants had a 1st-and-goal situation from the six-yard line midway through the first quarter, but settled for a 20-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes.
Washington's Graham Gano was wide left on a 30-yard chip shot later in the frame, and the Giants took a 10-0 lead when Brandon Jacobs finished off a nine-play, 69-yard drive with a tough two-yard run.
The score came with 3:06 remaining in the half, enough time for the Redskins to cut into the deficit on Fred Davis' one-yard touchdown reception off a play-action fake.
Sam Paulescu's punt pinned the Giants inside their own 10-yard line early in the third. Undeterred, Manning aired it out to Manningham and got DeAngelo Hall to leave his feet. The Redskins cornerback was nowhere near the pass, and Manningham caught the ball in stride and high-stepped into the end zone for a 92-yard score.
Tynes was wide right on a 39-yard try following a Keith Bulluck interception later in the third, but the Giants forced two more turnovers in the final stanza.
On the first play of the fourth, Grossman went back to pass and was stripped from behind by Osi Umenyiora, who also recovered the fumble at the Giants' 43.
Another promising Redskins drive was thwarted when Moss was fighting for extra yards and lost the ball at the New York 10.
The hosts got the ball again in decent field position following a three-and- out, but Ryan Torain was stuffed on 4th-and-1 from the 32.
The Giants' Rich Seubert, starting at center in place of the injured Shaun O'Hara, suffered a serious knee injury in the first quarter and had to be carted off the field. The Giants were also without wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (toe)...The Giants have won six straight against the Redskins, their longest streak since a six-game run from 1993-95...Grossman completed 26-of-44 passes...Jacobs ran for 49 yards on 13 carries, while Torain led Washington with 61 yards on 18 totes...Manningham finished with four catches for 101 yards.
01/03 01:46:20 ET
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