Four weeks ago, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan sounded as though their season was over after saying the rest of the year would be spent evaluating their players.
Now the Redskins have won three straight games, all coming against the NFC East, to find themselves back on the edge of the playoff picture with five weeks to go.
Robert Griffin III completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown and running back Alfred Morris ran for 124 yards as the Redskins knocked off the New York Giants 17-16 Monday night. With the win, the Redskins are now just a game back of the Seattle Seahawks for the final Wild Card spot in the NFC.
The Redskins (6-6) took the early lead on one of the craziest scoring plays of the season. Griffin took off around left end out of a triple-option and had the ball jarred free while going to the ground. The ball hopped right into the waiting arms of Joshua Morgan, who ran in from 13 yards out to give Washington a 7-3 lead.
Lawrence Tynes missed a 43-yard field goal try wide left in the second quarter in a game ultimately decided by one point.
Eli Manning connected with Martellus Bennett for a 4-yard touchdown with 2:33 left in the first half. Both teams would add a field goal in a frantic final two minutes. Kai Forbath connected from 33 yards out for the Redskins and Tynes added a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give the Giants (7-5) a 13-10 lead heading into halftime.
Another Tynes field goal, a 35-yarder, extended the Giants lead to 16-10 late in the third quarter before Griffin and the Redskins responded.
Griffin engineered a 12-play, 86-yard drive to put the Redskins back on top. Griffin found Pierre Garcon for an 8-yard touchdown to cap the drive and give the Redskins a 17-16 lead. Garcon has added an extra dimension to the Redskins offense since returning from a foot injury that forced him to miss six games this season. Garcon had eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins Monday night.
Washington forced the Giants to punt on fourth-and-16 in their own territory with four minutes to play but never got another chance with the football. Griffin and Alfred Morris moved the Redskins down field for three first downs to run out the clock and earn the victory.
Manning completed 20 of 33 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown and Ahmad Bradshaw carried 24 times for 103 yards for the Giants.
Morris had 22 carries for 124 yards and Griffin carries five times for 72 yards for Washington.