NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

December 30, 2013

Giants, Jernigan add to Shanahan's, Skins' woes

TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer

---- — EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — If this was Mike Shanahan’s final game with the Washington Redskins, it was just like the season. Very disappointing.

Jerrel Jernigan caught a 24-yard touchdown pass and ran 49 yards for another to lead the New York Giants to a 20-6 victory over Washington yesterday.

Shanahan has not only seen the Redskins (3-13) finish the season with an eight-game losing streak just a year after winning the NFC East, but his future coaching the team is uncertain because of his shaky relationship with oft-injured franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The Giants (7-9) also aren’t going to the playoffs, but they closed the season with a 7-3 record after losing their first six games. It’s a finish that probably will have two-time Super Bowl winning coach Tom Coughlin back next season, unless the 67-year-old decides he has had enough.

The game was the final one at MetLife Stadium until the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. This one was about as ugly as it gets, and the constant rain and injuries didn’t help.

The Giants lost quarterback Eli Manning (ankle), receivers Rueben Randle (knee), Hakeem Nicks (ankle) and offensive tackle Will Beatty (broken leg) in the regular-season finale, while the Redskins saw cornerback Josh Wilson (calf) and defensive end Jarvis Jenkins (head) leave the game.

Before leaving at the end of the first half, Manning combined with Jernigan on a 30-yard catch and run that set up the touchdown pass two plays later for a 7-3 lead.

Jernigan got his other touchdown on the final play of the third quarter on an end around after taking a handoff from Curtis Painter, who played the second half with Manning out.

Manning finished 10 of 24 for 152 yards with the touchdown and his career-high 27th interception of the season.

Josh Brown had field goals of 34 yards in the second quarter and 38 in the fourth.

The way the Giants’ defense was playing, that’s all New York needed.

Washington got field goals of 31 and 49 yards from Kai Forbath, both after Giants turnovers.

The Redskins finished with 251 total yards after converting on 5 of 20 third-down attempts. Kirk Cousins, who started third straight game since RGIII was shut down, was 19 of 49 for 169 yards with two interceptions.

The game might have been the last for Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, who said he is 99 percent sure his 16-year career will end this season. He played in all 256 games in his career, starting the last 215, an NFL record for linebackers.