Five plays that shaped the game

October, 23, 2012
10/23/12
8:00
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A look back at the key plays in the Giants' 27-23 win over the Redskins:

1. Tight squeeze: The first three quarters of this game were basically a draw -- the score was tied at 13 heading into the final 15 minutes. The Giants broke the tie on the fourth play of the final quarter -- a 1-yard touchdown run by Ahmad Bradshaw. There wasn't much space there, but somehow Bradshaw was able to break the plane, and the Giants led 20-13.

2. Miracle worker: The Redskins converted on fourth down three times in the final quarter, but one particular conversion stands out. On 4th and 10 from the Washington 23-yard line, with just over two minutes remaining and the Giants leading 20-16, rookie QB Robert Griffin III pulled a Houdini act, escaping several would-be tacklers in the backfield. Finally, he found tight end Logan Paulsen for a 19-yard gain to extend the drive.

3. Over the top: Three plays later, Griffin III lofted a pass over Giants rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley's head to Santana Moss for a 30-yard touchdown, hushing the MetLife Stadium crowd and giving the Redskins a 23-20 lead with 1:32 left. It was a perfectly thrown ball, and his second TD connection with Moss in the game.

4. Even better: Not to be outdone by the rookie, Giants QB Eli Manning yet again worked some fourth quarter magic. Manning needed just two plays to put the Giants back in front -- well, just one, really. After an incompletion on first down, Manning found Victor Cruz streaking downfield along the right hashmark for a 77-yard touchdown that put the Giants back in front, 27-23.

5. Last stop: Manning and the Giants struck back so quickly, the Redskins still had one final chance to win the game, taking over on their own 20-yard line with 1:13 remaining. But on the third play of the drive, following another completion to Moss, the veteran wide receiver was hit by Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn and fumbled. The ball was recovered by Hosley, and the Giants were one kneel-down away from improving their record to 5-2.
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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