The Giants didn’t really stop Robert Griffin III. They didn’t stop the Redskins running game. But they did find a way to win. It helps when you have a quarterback considered one of the best in the game in the final minutes.

Sure enough, Eli Manning came through with a 77-yard touchdown pass to WR Victor Cruz. It came after Griffin gave the Redskins (3-4) a brief lead when he engineered a 77-yard drive in one minute, 27 seconds. The two QBs provided a glimpse of what future battles might look like. If that’s the case, it’ll be fun for fans and nerve-racking for coaches.

But for now, the Giants (5-2) are the superior team, and that’s why they remain in first place by a game-and-a-half over idle Philadelphia. The Redskins’ offense kept New York off balance with a heavy dose of zone-read runs and passes. But the Giants held them enough when it mattered, keeping the Redskins out of the end zone in their only two trips inside the 20-yard line. Ultimately, that proved to be the difference. So, too, were four turnovers.

For most of the game, the Giants’ offense was good but not great. That’s surprising given the Redskins’ defensive struggles. The problem for Washington was this: Give Manning enough opportunities, and he’ll make you pay.

When the game turned: There were many potential turning points, but in the end there was only one. With 1:23 to play, the Redskins attempted to double cover WR Cruz, with CB Josh Wilson shading him inside and S Madieu Williams over the top. But Williams was caught flat-footed and Manning connected with Cruz, running a straight go, for a 77-yard touchdown. It came 15 seconds after the Redskins had taken a 23-20 lead on a Griffin touchdown pass.

Highlight moments: Griffin III converted a fourth-and-10 from his 23 late in the fourth quarter when he escaped the pocket, rolled left, stepped up, stepped back and hit TE Logan Paulsen for a first down. Griffin capped the drive with a pretty, 30-yard touch pass to WR Santana Moss for a touchdown. Both plays qualify as highlights, and if not for Manning, this drive would have gone down in Redskins' lore.

Top-shelf performances:

     •  Redskins QB Griffin III -- He was 20 of 28 for 258 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 89 yards on nine carries.

     •   Redskins RB Alfred Morris -- The Redskins' other rookie standout rushed 22 times for 120 yards.

     •  Giants WR Cruz -- Cruz was silent much of the game but finished with 131 yards on seven receptions thanks to his 77-yard score.

     •  Giants TE Martellus Bennett -- He caught five passes for 79 yards, with a long of 31.

     •  Giants QB Manning -- 26 of 40 for 337 yards and a touchdown.

     •  Giants LBs Chase Blackburn and Michael Boley -- They each had 10 tackles.

What they said about the QBs:

     •  Giants DE Justin Tuck on Griffin: “I’m pretty mad at the football gods for putting him in the NFC East.”

     •  Redskins NT Barry Cofield on Manning: “He’s like Joe Montana now. The team has no quit because they have so much faith in him. He was good when I was here, but he’s unbelievable now.”

     •  Giants coach Tom Coughlin on Griffin: “He looks like the fastest guy on tape, and he’s certainly the fastest guy on the field. When he pulls the ball down, when you break down contain and he goes outside, you are just praying someone is going to run him out of bounds.”

     •  Giants WR Cruz: “With Eli at the helm, we’re never really too worried.”

Numbers you should know -- The Redskins gained 480 yards and averaged seven yards per play. Both figures topped the Giants (393 yards and 6.6 per play). But the real problem for Washington was a season-high four turnovers; three fumbles and an interception. They entered the season having committed just five turnovers. The Giants converted 8 of 12 third downs.

Injury update: Redskins -- TE Fred Davis suffered a torn Achilles tendon on Washington’s first drive and is out for the season. It's a big blow to an offense that relied on his ability to make plays. The Redskins will likely sign Chris Cooley, who was cut this summer after eight seasons and is the franchise’s all-time leading pass-catcher at tight end. Davis had developed into a solid all-around player, too, as his blocking had greatly improved. ... ILB London Fletcher, who has played in 231 consecutive games, exited in the third quarter with a right hamstring injury. He’ll receive an MRI on Monday. Giants -- There were no significant injuries announced.

Going forward:  Redskins -- The Redskins must test their resiliency at Pittsburgh next week, a game that could decide the ultimate direction of their season. Another loss and the Redskins could struggle to reach seven wins. They face Carolina the week after and before their bye week. Giants -- After winning their first NFC East game, against two losses, they’ll play at Dallas with a chance to start establishing control of the division. After that comes a home game vs. a Pittsburgh team that struggles on the road, then a game at Cincinnati.

John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner. Follow him on Twitter @CBSRedskins or@John_Keim.