If Tuck and Manning had been humming like that all season, the New York Giants wouldn't be on the fringes of the playoff race.
As it is, they've made it to 5-7 -- not bad after an 0-6 start -- with Sunday night's 24-17 win over the Redskins.
"If I was standing here with four sacks and a loss, I wouldn't give two cents," said Tuck, who had only 2.5 sacks on the season entering the game. "But we got a win. I played pretty good tonight."
The win keeps the Giants (5-7) two games behind division leaders Dallas and Philadelphia with four to play.
"After last week's loss we were probably going to have to win five in a row," Manning said, "and this is the first one,"
The Redskins (3-9), meanwhile, were eliminated from the postseason for the 17th time in 21 years and finished the season 0-5 in prime time.
"When you're out of it, yeah, it's very disappointing. ... You don't like to play for pride," Washington coach Mike Shanahan said, "but sometimes that's the card that's dealt, and that's where we're at right now."
The turnover came two plays after a confusing moment in which Washington apparently thought it had a first down - the sideline down marker was at "1'' - when it was actually third-and-1.
Manning and Griffin put on quite the statistical show in the first half -- they were a combined 26 of 29 for 250 yards passing at halftime -- before the same troubles that have beset both teams resurfaced in droves.
Manning had a high throw tipped for an interception in the third quarter, and he remains on course to have more interceptions than touchdown passes for the first time since his rookie season. Manning was also sacked three times, giving him a career-high total of 31.
But the Redskins could only convert Manning's interception into a field goal -- even though they got the ball at the New York 12. That gave Washington a 17-14 lead, which evaporated after a gaffe by the consensus worst special teams unit in the league.
"You can't stop yourselves," Shanahan said. "We had some penalties. We had some dropped balls. We had a couple missed assignments. You couple all those things and that's how you lose a football game."
Manning finished 22 for 28 for 235 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Myers in the second quarter that was part of the 10 completions in a row.
After his stellar first half, Griffin was 8 for 15 for 58 yards in the second half for a final line of 24 for 32 for 207 yards and a season-high 88 yards rushing on 12 carries. He wasn't sacked in the first half, but he went down five times after halftime.
"He outran me on a few plays," Tuck said, "but I thought he looked good until we were able to make some adjustments."
Notes: The Redskins scored a touchdown on their opening possession for the first time this season. ... The Giants had only one running play of 20-plus yards entering the game, but they had two on the same drive, including a 23-yard touchdown run by Brown that made the score 14-7. ... Redskins injuries: CB Hall (left hip), LB London Fletcher (sprained ankle).
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press