Surprisingly, in yet another year gone so sour for the Redskins, the secondary played the role of David quite nicely, picking off Manning three times, preventing Cruz and Nicks from catching more than half the 21 passes thrown their way and keeping the Giants out of the end zone until just 33 meaningless seconds remained.
"This is a team of character," said free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who has missed three games with injuries, has lost his starting job to Reed Doughty and hasn't really been 100 percent all season. "We might be down and out of it, but we still got something to play for. We're building something that will last longer than just this season. We're building something for the future, and it starts with games like these."
Atogwe started the secondary's big day by intercepting Manning's deep throw for reserve running back D.J. Ware and returning it 26 yards to the New York 41 to set up Washington's second touchdown.
The Giants finally scored on the last snap of the first half, slicing Washington's lead to 17-3, and New York got the ball to start the second half. But on the second play, Hall used his excellent hands and instincts to pick off Manning's long pass for Nicks and return it 26 yards to set up a field goal that restored the Redskins' 17-point margin.
"I guess it shows we can catch," Hall said sarcastically after the three picks increased the secondary's season total by 50 percent. "(Giants safety Antrel Rolle) came out saying we couldn't beat 'em five times out of a hundred. Those prove 'em wrong. This Giants' offense is pretty good, and they've got the stats to prove it."
Not against the Redskins, who held New York to 24 total points while sweeping the two games (less than half the Giants' average otherwise). Washington limited Manning to 249 yards per game, 73 below his average.
Wilson's sweet interception of Manning's off-target toss for third receiver Mario Manningham in the end zone on the fifth play of the fourth quarter was the knockout blow.
Wilson wasn't available to speak about it afterward because of concussion-like symptoms, but outside linebacker Brian Orakpo chimed in.
"Our secondary, I thought they played phenomenal," Orakpo said.
"It wasn't about me, but I thanked the guys after the game for the way they played," said Cofield, whose only loss was at home in 2007 to a Washington team driving for a playoff berth on a very raw and windy night. "It's just a great feeling."
"It's just a dream come true to play in Giants (MetLife) Stadium," said Young, who kept the ball that he took across the goal line. "I feel like I played my heart out today."
"I thought he played well," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said of Smith, an undrafted rookie from East Carolina. "There's always going to be growing pains against a guy like Pierre-Paul."