- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Washington Redskins could only be described as one Giant D-bacle.
"We played like s---," defensive end Dave Tollefson said.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who had a career-high 16 tackles and a sack, used the same four-letter expletive to describe how the New York Giants' defense played. He just added another word in front of it.
"We played like horses---. Honestly. That's something we have to live with," Pierre-Paul said. "We just played terrible. The score says it all."
The Giants came into Sunday's pivotal divisional matchup with the Redskins hoping to stay on top of the NFC East. Instead, in typical Giants fashion, they played down to their competition and were gashed by an inferior opponent.
"It's shocking. It sucks. It's tough to swallow. But you gotta give them credit," linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. "They won the game."
The only one stopping the Redskins' offense on Sunday was Rex Grossman, who "punted" a pair of deep passes into the hands of Corey Webster and Kenny Phillips in the first quarter. But time and time again after that, the Giants' defense failed to come up with a key stop when it needed to.
In all, Washington converted 19 first downs, went 8-for-15 on third down and netted 300 yards of total offense. Grossman wound up making his living picking on rookie Prince Amukamara, and recovered to finish 15-for-24 for 185 yards -- including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss.
"We didn't play New York Giants' defense," defensive end Chris Canty said. "That's not us. It's unfortunate. We had a tremendous opportunity that we did not take advantage of. It's embarrassing."
Safety Antrel Rolle -- who missed a huge tackle on third-and-17 from Washington's 43 that led to a 16-yard gain by Donte Stallworth, and eventually Moss' snag-six -- was convinced the Giants could beat the Redskins "99 out of 100 times" after Washington beat New York by 14 in Week 1. Ninety-eight out of 100 times it is then.
"It's definitely frustrating," Rolle said. "I say that we're the better team and they beat us twice, so clearly they're the better team at the moment."
Despite the loss, the Giants can take solace in the fact that they still control their own destiny. If they beat the Jets next week and the Cowboys in their season finale, they'll make the playoffs.
Rolle continues to stand by his postseason guarantee.
"We're gonna get it together," Rolle said.
The Giants' season depends on it. They can't afford another loss. Not if they want to win the Super Bowl.
"You don't want this feeling again," Tollefson said. "Obviously, it's on to the next one and we're still in it, but we need to let this thing soak in a bit, figure out what we did wrong and fix it. Let's really get better."