Giants come back to tie Redskins 14-14 at halftime

By HOWARD FENDRICH - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-12-01 21:02

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - Robert Griffin III got off to a perfect start aside from a couple of pratfalls Sunday night, completing his first 12 throws, before Eli Manning put together his own passing streak, and the Washington Redskins and New York Giants were tied 14-14 at halftime in a prime-time matchup between teams at the bottom of the NFC East.

The two QBs were a combined 26 for 29 for 250 yards, two TD passes and zero interceptions through two quarters.

Under all sorts of scrutiny lately - involving everything from his father's presence in the locker room to whether offensive linemen are offering a helping hand after plays - Griffin played far better than he has been and helped Washington take a 14-0 lead.

RG3 began 12 for 12 for 111 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Logan Paulsen a little more than three minutes into the second quarter. The dozen completions in a row matched Griffin's career-best streak, and he finished the half 16 for 17 for 149 yards. He also ran for 53 yards on seven carries through two quarters.

A couple of those runs closed with awkward tumbles. At the end of a 15-yard run early in the second quarter, Griffin's feet slid out from under him on the sideline and he slammed onto his backside - as though a banana peel were the culprit.

Later in that quarter, Griffin appeared to trip over a down marker after a 9-yard run and slammed into the crowded Giants sideline. Again, he hopped right up.

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon had four catches for 32 yards receiving in the first half, giving him a career-high 951 yards this season.

New York answered Washington's two scores with Andre Brown's 23-yard touchdown run, culminating a 74-yard drive that included 58 on the ground, followed by Manning's 22-yard TD pass to Brandon Myers with 35 seconds left in the half. On the latter drive, Manning was 6 for 6 for 74 yards, giving him nine straight completed passes. He was 10 for 12 for 101 at halftime.

Griffin and Washington started the game in a hurry-up offense that effectively mixed runs and throws to cover 73 yards over 14 plays, capped by Alfred Morris' 1-yard plunge for the Redskins' first opening-possession touchdown of the season. Griffin went 5 for 5 for 57 yards on the drive, completing one pass each to five receivers, including oft-inactive tight end Fred Davis' first catch since September.

The drive included an early fourth-and-1 at the Washington 49, and Griffin got the first down on a keeper.

The Giants, meanwhile, went three-and-out on each of their first two possessions, including a sack of Manning by Brian Orakpo on their opening play. That was the 29th time Manning has been sacked this season, one shy of his career high in 2009.

New York was using its sixth offensive line combination in 12 games, after center Jim Cordle went on injured reserve earlier. Kevin Boothe moved back to center after playing most of the season at left guard, and James Brewer shifted to left guard.

The Giants did not get a first down until more than four minutes into the second quarter, when Peyton Hillis ran for 8 yards on third-and-1. Hillis gained 27 on the next play, too, only the team's second run of 20-plus yards all season.

Two plays after that came New York's third such rushing play of 2013, when Brown got to the end zone.

Both teams entered the evening with only the slimmest of mathematical hopes of reaching the postseason - Washington was 3-8, New York was 4-7 - and the Redskins would be officially eliminated with a loss.

As it is, Washington came in with an 0-4 record in prime time this season, including a 27-6 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Monday night.

Washington also entered on a three-game losing streak overall, part of a take-a-step-back season that has prompted questions about the future of coach Mike Shanahan, who is in the fourth year of a five-season deal worth $35 million. Also under plenty of scrutiny lately is Griffin, who began Monday with 11 interceptions after throwing five all of last season, when he was NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He also has yet to run for a touchdown in 2013 after rushing for seven a year ago, when the Redskins won their final seven games to finish 10-6 and win the NFC East.


Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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