LANDOVER, Md. — Eli Manning and Robert Griffin III put on quite the show in the first half.
Then the two quarterbacks and their teams — both with not-ready-for-prime-time records — showed how they’ve become the bottom-feeders of the NFC East.
Yet one team had to win, and it was the New York Giants who took advantage of the latest Washington Redskins special teams error to set up the go-ahead touchdown.
Andre Brown had a pair of touchdown runs Sunday night, and Justin Tuck had four sacks — nearly doubling his season total entering the game — as the Giants beat the Redskins, 24-17, to stay on the fringes of the playoff race.
The win keeps the Giants (5-7) two games behind division leaders Dallas and Philadelphia, while the Redskins (3-9) were eliminated from the postseason for the 17th time in 21 years and finished the season 0-5 in prime time.
‘‘After last week’s loss we were probably going to have to win five in a row, and this is the first one,’’ Manning said. ‘‘You can’t win five in a row unless you win the first one. Now that we have done that we have to keep going.’’
Safety Will Hill sewed up the victory when he wrestled the ball from Pierre Garcon after the receiver made a catch near midfield with 1:21 remaining as the Redskins were driving for a possible tying score.
Manning and Griffin were a combined 26 of 29 for 250 yards at halftime — before the same troubles that have beset both teams resurfaced in droves.
Manning had a throw tipped for an interception in the third quarter, and was sacked three times, giving him a career high of 31 for the season.
But the Redskins could only convert Manning’s interception into a field goal — even though they got the ball at the New York 12. That gave Washington a 17-14 lead, which evaporated after a gaffe by the special teams unit.
Redskins long snapper Kyle Nelson sent a bouncing grounder back to punter Sav Rocca, leading to a blocked punt that was compounded by a holding penalty on Nelson that added 10 yards to the final spot.
The Giants took over at the Washington 46 and then took the lead, needing only four plays and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on cornerback DeAngelo Hall to produce Brown’s 1-yard touchdown run that made the score 21-17 early in the fourth quarter.
Josh Brown added a 39-yard field goal with 2:32 remaining.
Manning finished 22 of 28 for 235 yards, including a 22-yard TD pass to Brandon Myers in the second quarter.
After going 16 of 17 for 149 yards in the first half, Griffin was 8 of 15 for 58 yards in the second. He finished 24 of 32 for 207 yards and a season-high 88 yards rushing on 12 carries.
He wasn’t sacked in the first half, but he went down five times in the second. Tuck had four, after having only 2½ sacks coming into the game.
‘‘Our secondary did a great job of giving RG some different reads and make him hold the ball a little longer than what he had been doing previously,’’ Tuck said, ‘‘and I was able to capitalize on it.’’