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Fletcher: 'One Of Those Unreal Feelings'

Posted Dec 3, 2013

Sunday Night's loss to the New York Giants was a story of two halves for the Washington Redskins as they missed opportunities that should have bolstered the lead.

Brandon Meriweather was in the right place.

With the Redskins and Giants tied, 14-14, in the third quarter Sunday night at FedExField, Eli Manning lobbed a pass into coverage, David Amerson tipped the ball and Meriweather snatched it from his zone perch in the middle of the field.

The free safety picked up a couple blocks and ran down to New York’s 12-yard line, potentially delivering Washington the break it needed to open up a gridlocked game it first led, 14-0.

Three plays later, Pierre Garcon grimaced and booted a football out of the end zone.

After he and Robert Griffin III failed to connect on third down, Garcon saw the listless ball on the ground and kicked it. His frustration led to a delay of game penalty, and the Redskins netted a 3-yard loss after the turnover, settling for a field goal in the red zone to give them a temporary lead in a 24-17 loss to the Giants.

In their fourth loss by seven points or less, the 3-9 Redskins again watched the opposing team seize the game in a critical sequence.

“That was a tough one to lose,” heead coach Mike Shanahan said.

“We had some opportunities to put the game way. We didn’t. We had some missed opportunities, and you can’t do that and beat a football team, so it’s disappointing again coming close, but not finishing.”

After Kai Forbath hit the 33-yard field to give Washington the lead, the Redskins defense offered another chance to separate.

Linebacker Brian Orakpo’s second sack of the night capped off a three-and-out for the defense, but the Redskins failed to capitalize.

The Redskins offense had good field position, starting at its own 45-yard line, but was stuffed on two running plays, then lost eight yards on one of Justin Tuck’s four sacks.

When the opportunity came to pin the Giants deep in their own territory, the special teams collapsed. Long snapper Kyle Nelson snapped well short and to the right of Sav Rocca, who managed to wrangle the bouncing ball and released a desperate, low punt into the back of his own players that wobbled for 18 yards after a deflection.

Nelson was called for holding on the play, which erased another 10 yards of field position.

“I was just caught in the middle of a snap,” Nelson lamented after the game. “I didn’t want to snap it, but at the same time I wanted to snap it. It was just a miscommunication.

"Next time, I’ll know just if I hear something that I wasn’t sure about, I’ll just stop. If we take the penalty, we take the penalty.

“The last thing I saw, I was on my back, and Sav got it off. I don’t know how he did it. I don’t know how he did it, but congrats to Sav for doing that. As weird as it sounds, he did kind of save my (butt).”

The Giants scored in four plays to take the lead. The Redskins responded with their second straight three-and-out. Robert Griffin III was sacked two more times on that drive.

“We were jelling early on, putting points up – moved the ball really well, and in the second half we just shot ourselves in the foot.”

Washington outgained New York 37 yards, had two more first downs and possessed the ball for 3:10 longer than the Giants.

The Giants settled for a field goal on their final drive, leaving Washington about two and a half minutes to reclaim game. With 1:29 left, Pierre Garcon caught a 6-yard pass that would have converted a fourth down.

New York safety Will Hill wrestled the ball away, and Eli Manning kneeled two times to end it.

Two weeks earlier, an interception in the end zone against Philadelphia quashed a comeback when the Redskins trailed by eight.

A week before that, Washington was a touchdown behind the Vikings when Santana Moss could only get one foot in bounds on a fourth-down throw to the end zone near the end of regulation.

In its fourth-straight loss, the Redskins were left incredulous.

“It’s just one of those unreal feelings,” linebacker London Fletcher said. “You look at the way the game ended today, and it’s just other ballgames where we’ve had opportunities. In this game, we had several opportunities to kind of put this game away.

“It’s kind of basically how our season has gone. We just haven’t been able to do it for 60 minutes.”

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