Redskins tied for NFC East lead after beating Giants

The New York Giants (5-6) had a chance to walk into FedEx Field and take a two-game lead in the atrocious NFC East. Instead, their 20-14 loss to the Redskins (5-6) *made the four-car pileup crazier than we could have expected.*

Here's what we learned...

  1. Ladies and gentlemen, the Redskins are in first place. In a game that -- if nothing else -- showed off a budding top-five offensive line, Washington got up early thanks to three interceptions. The nice thing about its offense is that it can play with a lead more often than not, regardless of whether or not the defense folds. This hasn't been the case all year, but the more work Matt Jones gets, the more comfortable Washington should be with using him down the stretch. In the meantime, Alfred Morris has been patient and effective. Washington left the Giants with roughly 20 seconds and a full field ahead of them to stymie New York's chance at a comeback win.
  1. Odell Beckhamdid it again -- my goodness did he do it again. Every time he makes a spectacular play, it will immediately be billed as the catch of the decade due to his reputation, but is it ever deserved? Fault the Redskins all you want for leaving him in single coverage, but no defender was stopping Beckham from diving full extension with 5:04 left in the fourth quarter to haul in that pass. He landed perfectly parallel to the pylon as only Beckham could.
  1. The Giants' wildly inconsistent play is often met with understandable vitriol from its fan base and, from the rest of the league, a sort of recurring condescension that takes away from their two Super Bowl victories over the last decade. We're here to argue why they are the best team to be in the hunt down the stretch. It seems like so many of their games were like this one today: bumbling, yes, but also theatric and heart-pumping. Eli Manning is hilariously fearless, which produces multiple interceptions, but also transcendent football moments.
  1. Kirk Cousins was ... good. Again. Maybe, like NFL Media analyst Brian Billick says, he'll never be more than a solid backup. But against a New York defense that has played well at times this year, he threw for more than 300 yards, did not get picked off and scored touchdowns with his arm and with his legs. It's encouraging that he hit DeSean Jackson on the requisite take-the-top-off-the-defense bomb for a 60-yard touchdown on Sunday. That will keep everyone happy.
  1. The Giants are, once again, suffering massively from injuries. Geoff Schwartz's broken leg thrust another backup into action on the offensive line. If backup center Dallas Reynolds went down, the team would have needed to resort to their backup emergency backup center. Think about that for a minute. Manning was beaten up on Sunday and, even though we know he can take a pounding, the Giants don't want to figure out the extent of his toughness. The problem is that this team cannot function as a double-tight, run-first, slide-the-protection offense. We've seen that movie before.
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