Ups and Downs from the Redskins' 2017 season finale
Down: Redskins' hopes of a fast start
The Redskins just gave up kind of play that they can’t afford to give up.
On the Giants’ second play from scrimmage, Orleans Darkwa ran up the middle, popped through the line and he was gone, 75 yards for a touchdown. Needless to say, that was not a good start.
Anthony Lanier, who was at the point of attack, did manage to block the PAT and it was 6-0 Giants 17 seconds in.
Down: Kirk Cousins' vision
Kirk Cousins somehow didn’t see Kelvin Sheppard on a pass intended for Josh Doctson and the linebacker made the pick, returning it to the red zone at the 19.
Two plays later, the Giants got the TD on a pass from Eli Manning to Hunter Sharp. They went for two and didn’t make it but the Redskins are down 12-0 with just over two minutes elapsed.
Up: Kirk Cousins' vision (as a runner)
The Redskins got the break they needed, an interception by Preston Smith, who put up his long arms at the line and batted and grabbed the ball, returning it eight yards to the New York 20.
Two plays later Gruden called a read option and Cousins executed the keeper to perfection and ran 12 yards, getting just across the goal line before being pushed out. The PAT made it 12-7 midway through the first quarter.
Down: The good vibes following Washington's TD
The Redskins gained no momentum from the takeaway and quick score. Upon getting the ball, Manning threw a short pass to WR Travis Rudolph, who eluded a tackle attempt and rolled down the sideline for 29 yards.
The Redskins did manage to hold on after the Giants moved to a first and goal at the six and the field goal made it 15-7, but they lost a chance to take charge.
Up: Jamison Crowder the returner
Jamison Crowder popped off a 29-yard punt return to the New York 31 that concluded with four seconds left on the second-quarter clock. Dustin Hopkins came in and just squeezed his 49-yard field go inside the left upright.
The quick turnaround allowed the Redskins to get points on the board to make it 15-10, right before they received the second half kickoff, too. It was one of the few times this year Crowder made something happen on special teams.
Down: Redskins' run defense, yet again
Just like they did earlier in the game, the Giants did whatever they wanted to, moving down the field. The Redskins just couldn’t stop the run as rookie Wayne Gallman ripped off some solid gains.
Fortunately for the Redskins, they stopped running when they got close and they settled for a field goal to make it 18-10 with 14:09 to play.
Down: Everything related to the Redskins' franchise. Everything
The Redskins had a final chance to tie the game but it didn’t last long. Kirk Cousins’ third interception of the game killed the drive.
For the second time in the game, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard had a pass go right to him, giving the Giants the ball at the Washington 29.
New York mercifully went into victory formation on the Washington one.