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Washington 20, Giants 14: Plays that shaped the Giants' loss

The Giants came up short against the team that had been their punching bag the past three seasons. What plays influenced the outcome?

Rob Carr/Getty Images

The New York Giants were supposed to come in to play the Washington Redskins to create separation between themselves and the rest of the mess that is the NFC East.

Instead, it was a comedy of errors as the Giants fell to 5-6.

Giants dropping -- Balls and Players

Eli Manning finished the game with a horrible stat line: 26-of-51, 331 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. That stat line just screams "Bad Eli" but the blame is more squarely laid on the hands of his receivers, at least the ones not named "Odell Beckham Jr." or "Will Tye".

The Giants first two possessions ended in turnovers as Shane Vereen failed to look the ball into his hands, which bounced out and into the hands of a defender, and Dwayne Harris had the ball knocked loose after a vicious hit on his left arm.

Later in the first quarter, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had an easy pick-6 slip between his fingers. That seven points would have been the difference at the end of the game.

Then, with 7:23 to go in the third quarter after a near interception on a lazy Willie Mays Hayes-style basket catch, Rueben Randle once again ran a lazy route, letting himself get pushed out of his route and allowing Quinton Dunbar to undercut it and come up with the interception in the end zone.

Drops plagued the Giants' offense all afternoon, largely preventing them from building any momentum on offense or robbing them of any they happen to build.

But wait! That's not all. The Giants also suffered a pair of key injuries.

The first was to Geoff Schwartz, who suffered a "fractured lower leg" when his leg was caught under a falling player next to him. That forced the Giants to play seventh-round rookie offensive lineman Bobby Hart, re-reshuffling their reshuffled offensive line to put John Jerry at left guard and Hart at right guard. Schwartz's injury not only put the big guard on the bench, but the Giants' running game and much of their pass protection there as well.

The next injury was a non-contact leg injury to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who's leg buckled on the infamous Washington field as he cut to go help on a play elsewhere on the field. The very next possession, Kirk Cousins attacked Jayron Hosley who came on in relief. The result was a long touchdown by DeSean Jackson. Though DRC would come back into the game, the damage had already been done. He would be in and out the rest of the game, and it remains to be seen what happens with his injury going forwards.

Odell does it again, but not quite enough

The Giants did get their offense going, but ultimately waited too long. They did, however get a spark from a spectacular play by Odell Beckham Jr.

After a miraculous 40-yard touchdown to the (deservedly) much-maligned Randle on a fourth-and-16, the Giants defense stepped up and got the ball back, and Eli went back to work. After a pair of huge catches by rookie TE/H-Back Will Tye, including a big 28-yard catch and run on a fourth-and-2, Eli threw a pass into the end zone, intended for his favorite -- and by far most reliable -- target.

Then Beckham did this:

Unfortunately, Beckham's heroics would prove to be too little, too late, as the Giants' defense would fail to get a stop, giving up a 20-yard catch and run to Jordan Reed on a third-and-5. The defense would ultimately get the ball back for the offense (after a poor punt fielding decision by Dwayne Harris), but Craig Dahl's failure to disrupt Reed's route at all made it all too easy for the Redskins to chew up the clock.