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(Monday, December 21st)
Final Score: NY Giants 45, Washington 12
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Eli Manning threw three touchdowns to three different receivers and Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for two scores, as the Giants embarrassed the Redskins, 45-12, to stay in the thick of the NFC playoff race.
New York's defense had allowed 32.4 points per game over the previous eight contests, with six resulting in losses, but a five-sack, three-interception performance on Monday helped keep the Giants (8-6) a game behind Dallas for the final wild card spot.
To make the postseason, the Giants will need the Cowboys to lose one of their final two games -- against Washington (4-10) and NFC East-leading Philadelphia -- while taking care of Carolina and Minnesota on their end.
"We needed to buckle down knowing full well what the consequences were at this time," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We played with greater purpose. We were the team that had more at stake and we played that way."
Manning, coming off a career-high 391 yards last week, completed 19-of-26 passes for 268 yards and hit Mario Manningham, Steve Smith and Derek Hagan for TDs during the lopsided affair. Bradshaw ended with 61 yards on nine carries for the turnover-free victors.
Jason Campbell, pressured throughout the loss, threw for 192 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions of 15-of-28 efficiency for Washington, which was coming off a 34-13 rout of the Raiders but can go winless against NFC East foes with a loss to Dallas in Week 16.
A completely one-sided first half ended with the Giants holding a comfortable 24-0 lead. New York held the ball for over nine minutes in the game's opening drive, which featured four third-down conversions from Bradshaw, the last of which a three-yard plunge to cap the 16-play, 80-yard march.
"It was a great drive to start the game...We didn't have any bad plays," Manning said. "We mixed in the pass and run. It was just a great mix up and we kept the defense off guard a little bit. Everybody was on the same page and did their job."
Another Bradshaw TD run of four yards came on the second play of the second quarter, and Lawrence Tynes tacked on a 38-yard field goal later in the frame.
After Washington's third three-and-out in as many possessions, Manning hit Hakeem Nicks for a 45-yard gain on 3rd-and-5 near midfield. On the next play, Smith was left open in the back left corner of the end zone for a six-yard reception with 4:36 to go in the half.
In the final minute of the half, Campbell limped off the field after getting sacked by Osi Umenyiora. Todd Collins came in and hit Santana Moss for a 46- yard gain into Giants territory, but to add insult to injury, the Redskins failed to get any points on the board after a bizarre play had punter Hunter Smith throwing an interception to end the half.
"I was most surprised going into halftime down as many as we were." Redskins head coach Jim Zorn said. "[New York] had a flawless drive to start and then we went three-and-out, then we went three-and-out, and then we went three-and- out...We did poorly overall. I really was surprised because we had been putting together pretty good performances lately."
Campbell returned to start the second half, orchestrated an eight-play, 86- yard drive, and found Fred Davis for an 11-yard score to get on the board.
But, in keeping with Washington's woes, the extra point failed and New York responded with a touchdown a little later, as Manning connected with Hagan for a 23-yard score at the 6:21 mark of the third.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Terrell Thomas stepped in front of an awful Campbell screen pass and waltzed into the end zone for a 14-yard return and an insurmountable 38-6 lead.
Washington's Quinton Ganther scored on a one-yard run in the closing seconds of the third quarter, and Manning's last pass of the game came on a 25-yard strike to Manningham with 2:12 gone in the final stanza, capping the scoring in front of an already near-empty FedEx Field.
The Giants have swept the season series against Washington for the second straight year and have won eight of nine overall in the series...Campbell eclipsed 3,000 yards passing for the second season in a row....Davis, who ended with five catches for 65 yards, has a TD in four straight games...The Redskins' Albert Haynesworth (ankle) and cornerback DeAngelo Hall (knee) returned on the defensive side of the ball after missing time with respective injuries. Both were involved in an altercation in the fourth quarter with several Giants players, including Brandon Jacobs. Punches were thrown on both sides but only Haynesworth was assessed a penalty...Smith caught a team-high five balls for 40 yards...10 different receivers caught passes for New York, which converted 11-of-15 third-down tries...Campbell led the 'Skins in rushing with 36 yards on two carries...Jacobs rushed for 52 yards on 16 carries...Moss caught three passes for 55 yards.
12/22 00:30:11 ET