LANDOVER, Md. -- What was supposed to be the jumping off point to a second straight playoff appearance ended up as a bitter defeat for the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Needing to defeat a team with nothing to play for and hope Green Bay and Detroit avoided a tie Sunday night, Washington's often prolific offense was smothered by the Giants defense as the Redskins (8-7-1) lost for the fourth time in their final six games.
"It's over. We played a very good team today and didn't get it done," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "Just like that your season's over."
Trailing 13-10 with 2:12 remaining, Cousins drove the Redskins across midfield. But on first-and-10 from the 43-yard line with 1:27 left, he threw down the middle for Pierre Garcon. The pass hung a bit and Cromartie stepped in front of Garcon for his second interception of the day.
"I didn't get my shoulder close enough to where I could make that throw accurately and the corner made a nice play," Cousins said, later adding that he probably should have run on the play.
Washington entered the game averaging 380 yards per game and 25.7 points. The Giants held the Redskins to 284 yards, including just 38 on the ground.
The Giants (11-5) already locked into the No. 5 seed, took the lead on a Robbie Gould field goal with 2:12 left.
Head coach Bob McAdoo said he would play his starters and for the most part, did. Quarterback Manning finished the game, as did running back Paul Perkins. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (five catches) left in the third quarter.
"Physical, hard-nosed win on the road," McAdoo said. "That's exactly what we needed coming in here."
New York scored a touchdown on the game's final play when Trevor Wade picked up a fumble on a lateral and scored as time ran out.
Manning completed 17 of 27 passes for 180 yards and Perkins rushed 21 times for 102 yards.
Cousins was 22 of 35 for 287 yards, one touchdown and two picks. He was sacked four times. Pierre Garcon caught eight passes for 96 yards.
The Redskins (who won the NFC East with a 9-7 mark last season) were looking for first back-to-back playoff appearances since a three-year run from 1990-92.
"We had some opportunities, no question about it, and it is frustrating," Gruden said of Washington's season. "You feel like defensively we played good in spurts, but we weren't very consistent. Offensively. Obviously with the numbers we put up, wow, but our red zone offense was awful."
Washington rallied from a 10-0 halftime deficit and appeared to have the momentum late in the game.
Then, after generating little offense for much of the second half, Manning got time and threw long down the left sideline and found Tavarres King for 44 yards to the Giants' 25.
"Earlier we threw a slant over slant over there. (Cornerback Greg Toler) was playing heavy and inside," Manning said. "Got Tavarres over there and I told him early on, 'hey, we're going to run by 20 if get (a chance) and sure enough the play came in and got one-on-on and he did a good job winning and making the catch."
Four plays later, Gould connected from 40 yards out.
Washington tied it with a 76-yard drive that started early in the final quarter. Cousins completed 5 of 7 passes on the drive. He hit Maurice Harris for 13 yards to the Giants' 35 and then Vernon Davis for 18 yards to the 17. After a holding penalty set up third-and-17, Garcon took a screen pass inside the 5. Cousins hit Jordan Reed for a 1-yard score and game was knotted 10-10 with 8:13 remaining
Leading 10-0 at halftime, New York drove inside the Washington 20 early in the third quarter. On fourth-and-2 from the 16, however, Manning's pass was deflected and incomplete.
Washington's offense appeared to get on track when Cousins hit Garcon for a 49-yard catch and run to the Giants 23. But on the next play, receiver Maurice Harris slipped and Cousins' pass was intercepted by Rodgers-Cromartie.
Cousins later found Davis for 31 yards to the 16 and a Dustin Hopkins field goal with 25 seconds left in the third quarter cut the deficit to 10-3.
Washington managed just 83 yards of offense in the first half.
The Giants took a 3-0 lead late in first quarter. A 22-yard run by Perkins got them to the 15, and a pass to Kelvin Sheppard made it first-and-goal at the 4. Manning's intentional grounding penalty forced the Giants to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Gould.
New York started the second quarter on their own 26 after a punt. Manning hit Beckham for 13 yards to open the drive and then for 12 as the Giants crossed midfield. On second-and-6 at the Giants 16, Beckham caught a short sideline pass and Josh Norman was flagged for a late hit, moving the ball to the 4. Two plays later, Brandon Jacobs scored and New York led 10-0.
A 23-yard Cousins pass to DeSean Jackson with one second left in the half gave Hopkins a chance from 57 yards, but his kick was wide.
NOTES: With five catches, Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (101) topped 100 receptions in a season for the first time in his career. ... Redskins WRs Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson both went over 1,000 yards receiving for the season. ... Redskins TE Jordan Reed (shoulder) was active after missing last week's game. Washington was without ILB Su'a Cravens (upper arm) and CB Quinton Dunbar (concussion). ... New York Pro Bowl CB Janoris Jenkins (bruised back), who missed last week's game, was back, but G/T Bobby Hart (forearm) was a surprising inactive. TE Jerrell Adams (shoulder) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (ankle) were also out for the Giants. ... Reed (248) moved past Don Warren (244) for third place on the Redskins' all-time receptions list for tight ends.