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Giants-Redskins score: Giants fall, 17-16, as gap closes in NFC East

Rob Carr

The New York Giants officially have a fight on their hands for the NFC East division title.

The Giants lost their Monday Night Football encounter with the Washington Redskins, 17-16, at FedEx Field meaning the Giants (7-5) now lead both the Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, each 6-6, by one game with four to play.

The winning score came when Robert Griffin III passed eight yards to Pierre Garcon with 6:37 to play, capping a 12-play, 86-yard drive.

Playing RGIII and the multi-dimensional Redskins offense for the second time, the Giants had hoped to have more success after giving up 480 yards in the first meeting between the two teams.

The Giants' offense held the ball for more than 20 minutes in the first half as New York built a 13-10 lead, but penalties and missed opportunities eventually doomed the Giants.

Lawrence Tynes ended up making three field goals, but missed a 43-yard attempt in the second quarter following a poor Zak DeOssie snap.

The Giants committed a season-high nine penalties, many of them costly ones. A first-quarter intentional grounding on quarterback Eli Manning killed a drive and forced the Giants to settle for a field goal. A holding penalty on Will Beatty nullified a first down on the Giants' final drive, and they ended up punting.

The Giants dominated the first half, holding the ball for more than 20 minutes, but twice had to settle for field goals and ended the half with a 13-10 lead. They could manage only three second-half points, and their defense simply could not hold Washington at bay.

So, the race is on in the NFC East. The Giants have the upper hand in the standings, but face an obvious challenge the rest of the way.