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Five Takeaways: Redskins Vs. Giants, Week 16


LANDOVER, Md. -- The Redskins entered Week 16 with a home finale against the New York Giants and lost in overime 41-35. Here are five takeaways from the game:

1. Dwayne Haskins had another strong opening.

Haskins had his best statistical game in last week's 37-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and he followed that up with another great performance against the Giants.

Last week, Haskins started the Eagles game by completing his first five passes. This week he was even better, going 10-of-10 for 121 yards and hitting five different targets. One of his prettiest throws went to wide receiver Cam Sims, who made a leaping catch for a 15-yard gain.

To make things even better, Haskins was finding receivers in the end zone. He led the Redskins' offense on a nine-play 75-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard pass to Steven Sims Jr. He followed that up on the very next drive with a six-yard pass to tight end Hale Hentges to tie the game at 14.

Haskins cooled down for the rest of the half but looked to come out strong at the start of the third quarter. His day was cut short, though, as he went down with an ankle injury on the first play of the second half. He did not return for the rest of the game.

Haskins finished the day 12-of-15 for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 8.9 yards per completion and had a 143.2 passer rating.

2. Case Keenum finishes the game and directs a comeback.

As Haskins was being carted off to the locker room, Keenum entered the game to get his first bit of action since Week 8 against the Minnesota Vikings. His first drive ended in a punt, but he quickly caught fire and orchestrated an exciting comeback.

After the Redskins' defense forced a three-and-out, Keenum got to work at his own 40-yard line. Seven plays and 60 yards later, Keenum finished off a wild drive, which included a pass from Kelvin Harmon to Chris Thompson, with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Sims.

Keenum followed that up with two more touchdown drives, the last one coming off a season-high 99-yard drive. The Redskins were given a breath of life after the Giants committed defensive pass interference in the end zone, putting the ball at the Giants' one-yard line. Keenum then rushed it in himself, crossing the plane and tying the score at 35.

Keenum finished the game 16-of-22 for 158 yards, a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. He had a 107.8 passer rating and an average of 7.2 yards per completion.

3. Steven Sims Jr. has a big day.

Many expected Redskins rookie sensation Terry McLaurin to have a big game, and he certainly did. He had seven receptions for 86 yards on nine targets.

But Sims was right behind him in every category and had something McLaurin didn't have today: touchdowns.

Sims was second on the team in receptions (6), yards (64) and yards per catch (10.7) He also led the team in targets (10), beating McLaurin out by one.

Sims' first touchdown came on the first drive of the game. He made the diving catch in the left corner of the end zone to tie the score 7-7. His next came in the third quarter, ending a 7-play, 60-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown grab off a dime from Keenum.

But perhaps his biggest catch came on a third-and-eight from Washington's own two-yard line. Down 35-28, Sims made a 32-yard catch that kept the offense on the field. The drive ended in a touchdown that forced overtime.

4. Nate Orchard continues to make plays, this time on special teams.

Orchard earned a spot on the Redskins' roster in a big way against the Carolina Panthers with a fumble recovery that essentially secured a Washington win.

Three weeks later, he didn't secure a win, but he did give his team a chance.

The Redskins held the Giants to a three-and-out and forced a punt. The Giants committed a holding penalty on the punt, though, and the Redskins elected to make the Giants punt the ball again.

There was hope that Sims would get a good return and give the offense good field position, but instead it was Orchard who came up with a big play. He got in the way of the punt and gave the offense the ball back at the Giants' 17-yard line.

Two plays later, running back Adrian Peterson plowed into the end zone to make the score 35-28. It wasn't enough to win the game, but it put the Redskins back in position to make a comeback with plenty of time left in the fourth quarter.

5. Redskins fall in an overtime thriller.

It didn't look good at halftime with the Redskins trailing, 28-14, and Giants running back Saquon Barkley well on his way to 279 yards of total offense. It looked almost impossible for the Redskins to come back as they trailed 35-21 in the third quarter.

But that's exactly what they did. The blocked punt and 99-yard drive equaled to a riveting second half, with both teams simply wanting to get a win near the end of their seasons that will not include postseason runs. Orchard's blocked punt set up a two-play, 17-yard touchdown drive that cut the lead in half, while Keenum's one-yard dive into the end zone tied the score at 35 with 29 seconds left in regulation.

The Giants still had a shot to put together a game-winning drive with all three of their timeouts, but the defense held strong as the drive ended with an incomplete Hail Mary that forced overtime.

The excitement ended shortly after, though, as the Giants marched down the field and punched in a score on the opening drive. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones ended the 11-play drive with a three-yard completion to tight end Kaden Smith in the end zone, ending the game with the Giants on top, 41-35.

The loss drops the Redskins to 3-12 and 1-7 at FedExField. They will travel to AT&T Stadium to play the Dallas Cowboys in the season finale next Sunday.

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