The Giants, who made the playoffs last season, were expected to contend again this year. But injuries, penalties, blown fourth-quarter leads and a failure to fix the offensive line sent the team plummeting. McAdoo’s decision to bench Manning, who had made 201 consecutive regular season starts, for a Dec. 3 game against Oakland led to a fan uproar so great that McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese were fired the next day.
Manning, who will turn 37 on Wednesday, returned as the starter for the following game, and he waved to the crowd as he trotted off the field Sunday. He was 10 of 28 for 132 yards and an interception. The new general manager, Dave Gettleman, said soon after he was hired last week that he intended to keep Manning as the starting quarterback.
The Giants scored touchdowns on their first two possessions but botched both conversions. The kick after the first touchdown was blocked, and a 2-point attempt failed when Sharp could not make the catch.
Washington linebacker Preston Smith got his team into the game, intercepting a screen pass and returning it to the Giants’ 20. Cousins scored on a 12-run two plays later.
Rosas added a 23-yard field goal for the Giants later in the first quarter, and Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins made a season-long 49-yarder on the final play of the half, cutting New York’s lead to 15-10.
Rosas produced the only points of the second half, a 29-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.