Redskins Muster Little Offense In Season FinalePosted on December 29, 2013 by Harvey Valentine
It was a dismal ending to a dismal season.
The Washington offense generated just two field goals and the Mike Shanahan era came to its likely end in a dreary 20-6 loss to the Giants in a cold, driving rain at MetLife Stadium.
The Redskins dropped their last eight games to finish 3-13 for the first time since 1994, Norv Turner's first year as coach. The last time the Redskins lost eight straight was when they opened the 1961 season with nine losses.
"We just didn't do the job offensively. That was one of our worst games of the season, if not the worst," Shanahan said during his postgame press conference. "So ... pretty discouraging."
Shanahan finishes the fourth year of a five-year contract with a 24-40 record amid speculation his ouster could come as early as tonight.
He declined to address his own situation, saying he would talk about it Dec. 30, but did respond when asked if this was his toughest year in coaching.
"I've had a few. This is right up there with them," he said. "Any time you're responsible for a football team and you come away with three wins it's always disappointing."
Washington was winless against the NFC East and finished last in the division for the third time in last four years.
The rain fell from start to finish Dec. 29 and contributed to 11 dropped passes and seven turnovers.
"The elements were tough," Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins said during his press conference. "I mean it never let up. At one point later in the game I was shaking. I was having just a hard time just staying warm, staying dry.
"There's only so much you can do. The ball kept getting heavier and heavier as the game went on. My cleats were getting full of water. I felt like I was walking in a puddle the whole game."
Washington was outgained 278-251 and converted just 5 of 20 third downs.
Making his third start, Cousins completed just 19 of 49 passes for 169 yards, with two interceptions and a lost fumble. Giants' defenders dropped at least three potential interceptions.
Alfred Morris had 16 carries for 62 yards, and Pierre Garcon caught six passes for 56 yards.
In his final game, linebacker London Fletcher had three solo tackles, four assists, and two pass defenses, one of which was ultimately caught by Reed Doughty for an interception.
Wide receiver Jerrel Jenkins scored twice for New York, which finishes 7-9 after an 0-6 start.
Trailing 10-6 at halftime, the Redskins turned the ball over on three of their first four second-half possessions.
Washington's best scoring chance came when it drove from the Redskins 39 to a first down on the Giants 15. On second and 8, Cousins dropped back and was hit by Justin Tuck as he was starting to throw. The play was ruled a fumble, which was recovered by New York.
"Your guess is as good as mine," Cousins said of the ruling. "I felt like my arm was going forward. You watch the replay; I've got to trust what they said to be right. That's one of those ones that was really close."
Tuck had two sacks, giving him six in two games against Washington.
Eli Manning left at halftime with an ankle injury and the Giants mustered little second-half offense until the final play of the third quarter, when Jenkins went 49 yards for a touchdown on an end around to make it 17-6.
The touchdown came two plays after Giants coach Tom Coughlin challenged the spot on a Cousins pass to Roy Helu, Jr. that was ruled a first down at the 15. The ball placement was changed to the 14 after the review and the Redskins were forced to punt.
Washington had just 66 yards of offense and two first downs in a horrific first half. They went 0 for 9 on third down and Sav Rocca punted seven times.
They only trailed 10-6 because the defense got a pair of turnovers. Early in the second quarter Brandon Meriweather forced a fumble and Josh Wilson recovered at the Giants 18.
The Redskins gained 6 yards in three plays before Kai Forbath made it 3-0.
Late in the half, Wilson was on the receiving end of Manning's 27th interception. Washington managed a first down this time before Forbath connected from 49 yards out with four seconds left.
In between the Washington field goals, Manning threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jernigan and Josh Brown added a field goal.
"We got back a little bit of our identity ... ," coach Randy Wittman said after the Wizards' 106-82 win against the Pistons Dec. 28.