The 5th Quarter: Giants 20 Redskins 6

THE GAME TURNED WHEN… With the Redskins mounting one of their few impressive drives of the game, Washington faced a 2nd and 8 at the New York 13 yard line. QB Kirk Cousins had two receivers open, but he held the ball too long and Giants DE Justin Tuck ran into him for an 8-yard sack. More importantly, Tuck knocked the ball out of Cousins’ hand and Giants DL Linval Joseph recovered it. Washington would drive into Giants’ territory on their next possession, but on third down from New York’s 34-yard line, Cousins threw an interception. The Redskins never challenged for a score again.

THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN… With the Giants leading 10-6 with two seconds left in the third quarter, New York took over at Washington’s 49-yard line after a Sav Rocca punt. Backup QB Curtis Painter handed the ball off to WR Jerrel Jernigan, who raced around the left end, virtually untouched, to the end zone. The touchdown put the Giants up 17-6 and with the Redskins offense AWOL all day, Washington had no chance to win the game.

THE GOOD… Nothing really. PK Kai Forbath has been quite good the last six weeks. But when the place kicker is the best thing you can write about, the team is obviously very bad. The defense didn’t quit until midway through the fourth quarter so they deserve credit for that. 

WR Pierre Garcon had six receptions today and became the second NFL player with at least 5 catches in every game during a 16-game season and the first since Jimmy Smith did it with Jacksonville in 2001.

THE BAD… No third down conversions until midway through the third quarter. They wouldn’t get their second  until two minutes into the fourth quarter. On the day the Redskins converted only 5 of 20 third down opportunities and only one of those came while the game was still in doubt.

The first drive ends when WR Santana Moss drops easy catch on 3rd and 3 from Giants 49. It wasn’t the last drop by Moss in the game and he’s had far too many of those this year. Clearly, Moss has played his last game as a Redskin.

Chris Chester blown up on 3rd and 12 on second drive, forcing Cousins to throw the ball away and end a drive that started at the 48 yard line.

Redskins had 66 yards of offense at halftime. Cousins: 7-for-18, 55 yards. Morris: 7 carries, 14 yards.

Jose Gumbs commits 10-yard penalty on terrible Sav Rocca punt in the first quarter

THE UGLY… The whole game was ugly. USA Today even did an article entitled “9 Reasons Redskins-Giants was the worst NFL game of 2013.” But did you see that Redskins offense? All of it. Every bit of it was hideous. Kirk Cousins committed three turnovers — all of them his fault — and Alfred Morris was shut down all day and fumbled deep in Washington’s territory to boot.

THE STAR… Uh… Hmmm. You know what, let’s give it to the only guy who put points on the board today — PK Kai Forbath. The second-year kicker hit two field goals, including a 49-yarder in the driving rain to end the first half. While Forbath struggled to start the season he did hit his last 14 FG attempts, so he’s probably in good shape to return next season. Can’t say that about many of his teammates.

THE STUDS… SS Brandon Meriweather had his best game of the season, leading the team with 8 tackles, two for losses, and also had one pass defense.

THE DUDS… Obviously, Kirk Cousins takes the taco here. He completed only 19-49 passes [39%], threw two interceptions, lost a fumble on a sack when he held the ball too long and missed open receivers all day. 3.3 yards per pass play? Ridiculous! The fact is, Cousins has gotten worse with each of these three starts and now looks less trade-able than ever. In his postgame presser Cousins tried to talk up his trade value, but he needs to shut his trap about that. If he wanted to get traded he should have played better. After last week and this week, I can’t imagine many teams will offer the Redskins anything worth taking.

Nobody on the offensive line impressed today, but RG Chris Chester was the worst. It was a fitting end to a terrible season for Chester and most of the offensive line. Alfred Morris was consistently hit in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage due to missed blocks and too much pressure was allowed on Cousins.

WHAT IT ALL MEANS… The Redskins just lost to a team that started 0-6 and played Curtis Painter at quarterback the entire second half of the game. The Redskins had not lost eight straight games since the early 1960s and they had not finished 3-13 since the first year under Norv Turner, 1994. They did both of those things this season. I’ll write more about what I think the Redskins need to do this offseason in a future article, but suffice to say that 2013 was a season lost. The team took several steps back, got worse on defense, fell apart on offense and the head coach lost his mind, benched his quarterback and acted as if he was trying to get fired the last six weeks of the season. Washington didn’t develop any young stars this season. While TE Jordan Reed looked very good at times, he missed too many games to draw a lot of firm conclusions about him. The game was a disaster from start to finish and the only good thing you can say about it is that none of the team’s core [which is pretty damn tiny at this point] suffered any bad injuries that will hurt the team in the future.

The Redskins are probably the worst team in the NFL and they won’t even get the benefit of a high draft pick, since their first round selection belongs to the St. Louis Rams as part of the trade for RG3. The Redskins need to fire Mike Shanahan and his entire coaching staff as soon as possible. That’s a given. After that and only after that can the rebuilding begin. Mike Shanahan has, in many ways, left the team weaker than he found it in 2010 and that’s unforgivable. It’s going to be a wild offseason, filled with news and surprises, Redskins fans. Buckle up and stay tuned to this station.