New York Giants safety Landon Collins sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins during the Giants' 19-10 victory at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, on Jan. 1. (Courtesy of Rodney Pierce)
New York Giants safety Landon Collins sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins during the Giants' 19-10 victory at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, on Jan. 1. (Courtesy of Rodney Pierce)

The Washington Redskins couldn’t ask for much more motivation than they had for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants: hosting a divisional foe in the final home game of the season and, most importantly, virtually controlling their bid for a second straight playoff berth.

And it still wasn’t enough.

The Redskins fell Sunday afternoon 19-10 to the New York Giants, one of its most crushing losses in recent memory in a game that raised more questions than it answered about Washington’s future as the season came to a close without a playoff berth.

Washington Redskins defensive end Ricky Jean Francois tackles New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings during the Giants’ 19-10 victory at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, on Jan. 1. (Courtesy of Rodney Pierce)

Against a team playing for little other than pride — the 11-5 Giants were already locked into NFC’s fifth seed for the postseason — the Redskins’ offense just couldn’t get on track, as running backs Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson combined for just 15 carries for 38 yards.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose long-term future with the team is still up in the air, was a pedestrian (if being generous) 22-35 for 287 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions — including a crippling pick to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in Giants territory with less than 1:30 remaining and Washington down three.

When asked whether the team was ready to play, Washington head coach Jay Gruden told reporters he thought so.

“In my gut, I thought so but the results say otherwise,” Gruden said. “Give [the Giants] credit. They played well.”

Washington finished the season at 8-7-1, giving the team its first back-to-back winning campaigns since 1991-92. However, losses in four of their final six games, including two marquee losses in their last two home games, effectively sealed their postseason fate.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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