LANDOVER, Md. — Not playing to win turned into a victory of a different kind for the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins lost 41-35 in overtime to the New York Giants, storming back from 14 points down to tie the game on a 99-yard scoring drive by backup quarterback Case Keenum.
After that touchdown, though, interim coach Bill Callahan opted to kick the extra point and play for overtime instead of going for a 2-point conversion and the win — although the Giants’ offense had encountered little resistance all day and were expected to prevail in overtime.
“I thought he was going to go for 2 out there,” safety Landon Collins said. “There’s nothing to lose out there, honestly. Shoot. I would just go for the win. Win or lose.”
Callahan defended the decision.
“I thought our defense had an opportunity to make a play in the overtime,” he said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get that kind of stop.”
With the loss, the Redskins have the inside track to the No. 2 pick in next year’s NFL draft.
Cincinnati has clinched the No. 1 overall selection, presumed to be LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
A Redskins loss next week to Dallas would give Washington the No. 2 selection, likely Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young.
“We never think that way,” Collins said. “We don’t care about draft picks. That’s not our concern. Our job is playing for this organization and trying to win.”
Winning has been elusive in recent years. The Redskins have lost nine consecutive NFC East games.
Keenum entered Sunday’s game after starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins sustained an ankle injury while being sacked on the first play of the second half.
Right tackle Morgan Moses (UVa) left with a knee injury on the same drive.
The offense mostly held its own all day, but a depleted secondary couldn’t slow the Giants’ offense.
Washington used cornerbacks Kayvon Webster and Coty Sensabaugh in prominent roles throughout the game — neither was on the team at the start of the week.
Their appearance kept Josh Norman on the bench, though Norman again was active for the game.
The Giants fed the ball to Saquon Barkley early and often — he finished with 189 yards on the ground and 90 in the air.
He was the difference maker in overtime, as the Redskins’ defense stood little chance of making a game-changing play.
As a result, though, Washington is now 60 minutes away from the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, their highest since trading up to the No. 2 spot in 2012 to take quarterback Robert Griffin III.