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Redskins smother Giants to cap Thanksgiving with win

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  • By Edward Lewis NFL.com
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The New York Giants (2-9) and Washington Redskins (5-6) capped off Thanksgiving Day with a fitting, sleepy end to Turkey Day. The two teams struggled on offense, but Washington eventually squeezed out the 20-10 victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Here's what we learned in the final game of the holiday's triple header:

1. To know everything you need to know from this one, just take a scan at the Giants' offensive drive charts from the night. They read like this: Punt, punt, punt, punt, field goal, punt, half, punt, punt, punt, punt, fumble, interception. New York could not get anything going against a Redskins team that came into the game allowing an average of 26.6 points and 363.6 yards per game. Eli Manning threw for just 113 yards and an interception on 13-of-27 passing. The team ran for just 84 yards on 24 carries. The Giants were just never good enough offensively Thursday night to make it interesting.

2. Jamison Crowder finally woke up the game for the Redskins late in the third quarter with a drive that was almost solely moved because of his efforts. He put Washington in good field position with a 14-yard punt return, moved the 'Skins into the redzone with a huge 33-yard catch and then he snagged the 15-yard touchdown to finish it off. With receiver Terrelle Pryor, tight end Jordan Reed and receiving back Chris Thompson all out, most expected Thursday night to be Josh Doctson's breakout game. Instead, it was Crowder's. The wideout, despite leaving the game late in the fourth quarter for a few minutes with a knee injury, finished the night with seven grabs for 141 yards and a score.

3. Washington has blamed injuries for their woes this season, and probably rightfully so, but the mistakes they made ultimately kept this one close. There was a Jenkins pick-six that the corner was only able to grab because of running back Byron Marshall's drop. There was a third-down Josh Doctson catch where he inexplicably ran out of bounds short of the sticks. There was a blunder of epic proportions when the Redskins tried to down a punt inside the 10-yard line (more on that later). In the fourth quarter, they couldn't decide whether or not to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the New York 40-yard line, so they burned a timeout to avoid a delay of game. It's tough to win with the myriad of injuries they've had this season. It's even tougher when there are that many avoidable miscues in four quarters of football.

4. Eli Manning had the type of night that will have pundits seriously debating his future with the Giants. But he didn't get a whole lot of help from a Sterling Shepard-less receiving group either. First-round pick Evan Engram had three huge drops -- two on third down and one a deep shot down the seam -- that helped stall three drives for New York on the night. Receiver Travis Rudolph added a third-down drop early in the fourth quarter as well.

5. The two teams played one of the most forgettable first halves you'll find on an NFL field this season. Manning threw for just 60 yards in the two quarters. The Redskins rushed for just 12 yards. The two teams punted 10 total times in 14 drives and combined for six points. It wasn't quite the start to the game football fans were hoping for after the Chargers-Cowboys game preceded it with a 28-6 blowout.

6. Redskins linebacker Pete Robertson's debacle when he tried to down a punt early in the game will make plenty of lowlight reels. After a Tress Way punt landed inside the 10-yard line, Robertson scooped it up and appeared to have downed it at the 7-yard line. But he kept running into the endzone in celebration of the nice play. Turns out, that's actually a touchback. Robertson caught some heat from teammates and coaches on the sideline afterward.

7. After a disappointing early season audition to be the starter, Samaje Perine has taken full advantage of the injuries to starting running backs Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson. The rookie tailback logged his second straight 100-yard rushing game and added three receptions for another 30 yards. Coach Jay Gruden praised him for his "great game" after the contest.

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