Believe it or not, New York (7-6) is still mathematically alive for the NFC East title, despite Philadelphia's win in Seattle. The Giants trail the Birds by three games with three to play. But if New York can run the table, including a season-ending victory over the Eagles (10-3), and Philly drops its final three, the Giants would tie Philly and win the tiebreaker by virtue of a better division mark.
The Giants also received good news when Tampa Bay thrashed Atlanta, dropping Dan Reeves' Falcons to 8-4-1 and giving Big Blue a chance to catch Atlanta, which slipped back to the second and final wildcard position.
The Saints (9-4), who were victorious over Baltimore, moved up to the top wildcard spot.
With 96 rushing yards, RB Tiki Barber topped the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Barber has 1,043 yards, which eclipses the career high of 1,006 yards he set in 2000.
"I'm glad Tiki went over 1,000 today," Head Coach Jim Fassel said. "We gave him the game ball."
WR Amani Toomer inched ever closer to the 1,000-yard plateau. With 60 yards, Toomer has 983 for the year. He's certain to top 1,000 Sunday for his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard campaign. He's also closing in on his career-best year, when he posted 1,183 yards in 1999.
Jeremy Shockey continues to kill the Redskins. He now has 16 catches for 200 yards in two match-ups with Washington. "Jeremy is a good player and can play well against a lot of teams," Fassel said.
"I think it's just a coincidence to tell you the truth," Shockey said. "I play hard every game and try to catch the ball every time."
The Giants suffered a major scare when SS Shaun Williams was laying on the ground only minutes into the contest. Williams suffered a burner in his neck after he was hit in the head by Redskins G Wilbert Brown's shoulder. After being down for a few minutes, Williams walked off the field and returned to action shortly after.
Nickel CB Reggie Stephens suffered a concussion, which forced hero Kato Serwanga into action. In the third quarter, Stephens hit his head on the knee of a Washington receiver. He said he wanted to re-enter the game, but New York wanted to be extra cautious, especially in light of the recent concussions suffered by Will Peterson and Micheal Barrow.
"I was kind of shaken up," Stephens said. "I had a pretty bad headache." "I talked to (trainer) Ronnie Barnes more than the coaches," Fassel joked.
The Giants inactives, not surprisingly, were mostly injured players: CB Will Allen (shoulder), CB Will Peterson (concussion), LB Dhani Jones (ankle), LB Micheal Barrow (concussion), WR Ron Dixon (knee) and DT Matt Mitrione (shoulder). OT Ian Allen was the lone healthy scratch and Jason Garrett the club's emergency QB. The Giants worked Dixon and Jones out before the game, but neither was up to snuff. Dixon said he wasn't even able to run full speed Sunday morning.
"Our defense did a great job in helping us win and I think the credit for this victory should go to them because they shut them down when we needed them to and they came up with the big turnovers." - Amani Toomer
"Our guys showed a lot of guts and courage." - Jim Fassel
"I thought Nick (Greisen) played very well." - Fassel
* DT Cornelius Griffin ended Washington's first possession with a seven-yard sack of Danny Wuerffel. He later added another in the third period that injured Wuerffel, who left the game. Griffin capped off his hat trick on that same drive when he nailed Wuerffel's replacement, Patrick Ramsey, for an 11-yard loss.
"I came out and played good; I felt good," Griffin said. "I got a little tired but Kenny (Holmes) and (Michael) Strahan kept me going. I thank God and my teammates as well." * LDE Michael Strahan drew one holding call on Redskins RT Jon Jansen, but that wasn't nearly enough, according to Fassel. "Michael got held more than once and didn't get the calls," Fassel said.
* Ralph Brown's second-quarter interception was only the sixth INT of the season for Big Blue.
* Delvin Joyce continues to excel in the kick return game. He averaged 28.8 yards on four returns, including a 46-yarder in the third quarter.
The Giants return home for another must-win game. They host the Cowboys, who will surely be smarting from their loss to San Francisco. The Cowboys led 27-17 in the fourth quarter before faltering and dropping a 31-27 decision.