Eli, Giants Topped by RGIII, Redskins

Jared Newman, CineSport—Eli Manning and the New York Giants continued their hot & cold season, losing to RGIII and the Washington Redskins on Monday night 17-16 after blowing out the Packers last week, 38-10.

In that dominating performance against Green Bay, the Giants held one of the league’s best quarterbacks to 219 yards through the air and kept him from scoring at all in the second half.

The week before, however, they gave up four touchdown passes to Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton, which was a career high for the second-year pro. That marked their second loss in a row, following four consecutive victories.

And now, just eight days after blowing out the NFC North-leading Packers, the Giants fell to a team with a losing record coming into Monday night in a sloppy game that featured a season-high nine penalties by New York.

Yet, despite all of this, Giants fans can’t be all that surprised. This type of unsteady play has been pretty normal for them in the Tom Coughlin Era.

The Giants have been consistently both terrible and great over the last few years, and the barometer for their success is still Eli Manning, at least for the most part.

In New York’s five losses this season, Manning has thrown four TD passes and four interceptions. He has thrown 12 TD passes and seven interceptions in the Giants’ seven victories.

Manning had a real chance to win this game against Washington. The Giants defense forced the Redskins to punt with a little more than six minutes remaining and Manning only needed to get his offense into field-goal range to put his team back on top. But after six plays, the Giants were facing 4th-and-16 and were forced to punt.

There was, however, at least one factor outside of Manning’s control which caused the drive to fail: Eli.completed a pass to Martellus Bennett that would have been good for a first down on 3rd-and-10 if Will Beatty hadn’t committed a holding penalty.

But for those who were expecting the quarterback who tied the NFL record for most game-winning drives in a season in 2011-12 to find a way to get the job done against RGIII, last night’s failed comeback must have been a disappointment.

Still, last season’s matchups against Washington turned out much worse for New York.

In 2011, the Redskins swept the Giants in the regular season and finished the season at just 5-11. Worse still the Redskins were being quarterbacked by Rex Grossman and neither game was even close in score. The Redskins won by double digits on both occasions.

Manning’s numbers last night weren’t egregiously bad. He threw for 280 yards and a touchdown and had no turnovers.

Rather than Manning, what Giants fans should be worried about is New York’s upcoming schedule.

Next week the Giants have to take on the Saints and Drew Brees, who will be looking to redeem himself after throwing five interceptions to the Atlanta Falcons last Thursday. After that, New York will play the 11-1 Falcons in Atlanta.

Next they’ll travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, who have only lost at home once this season. To close out the year, they have a cupcake game against the Eagles in Week 17.

The Giants’ lead over the Redskins and the Cowboys in the East is a mere one game, so perhaps this loss to Washington will serve as a wake-up call that being eclipsed by another team for the NFC East title is a real possibility.

With a team that has a habit of running hot and cold, it is hard to see the Giants being able to turn it on for the rest of the year and also maintain stellar play through the postseason.

Maybe things will be different this season, but with Coughlin and company, the pattern has been obvious.

All you have to do is look at the Giants’ quarterback, who epitomizes everything that they are: Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP who set the NFL record for most fourth-quarter touchdown passes in a season in 2011, yet has thrown the most interceptions in the NFL since 2009.

It doesn’t get much better or much worse than that.

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Week 13 in the NFL finished up with a NFC East divisional battle on Monday night. Eli Manning and the Giants took their two-game lead down I-95 for a road contest against Robert Griffin III and the rejuvenated Redskins.

New York led 16-10 heading into the fourth quarter on the heels of a Manning touchdown pass and three field-goals from Lawrence Tynes. However, the potential balance of power in the division shifted with 11:31 remaining when RG3 found Pierre Garcon for a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown that proved to be the difference in Washington's 17-16 victory. Eli remained upbeat despite the loss.

Griffin's 235 total yards and a score helped move the Redskins to within one game of the lead in the NFC East. However, the rookie knows there's still a lot of work to be done.

Week 14 kicks off on Thursday when the AFC West champion Broncos take on the Raiders in the "Black-Hole". Stay with CineSport for the latest NFL news and be sure to follow us on twitter at CineSport.