Landover, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Giants may have finally found their tight end of the future.
Eli Manning tossed three of his four touchdown passes to Larry Donnell, who became the first Giants tight end to haul in three scores in 52 years, and New York routed the Washington Redskins, 45-14, on Thursday night.
New York has employed five different starting tight ends since Jeremy Shockey's departure in 2007, with the Giants' leading one averaging 42 receptions for 539 yards during the six-year span.
Shockey, meanwhile, averaged 62 catches and 705 yards a season during his six- year stint with the Giants from 2002-2007.
Donnell finished with 54 yards on seven receptions for New York (2-2), which has won its last two games after beginning 0-2. Joe Walton was the last Giants tight end to score three touchdowns in 1962.
"This was a big night, not just for me, but for the team also," Donnell said. "Being able to contribute like that and help the team feels awesome."
Manning, who also added a score on the ground, completed 28-of-39 passes for 300 yards. Rueben Randle posted eight catches for 89 yards and Victor Cruz caught six balls for 108 yards in the triumph.
After going 30-of-48 for a career-high 427 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the year for the injured Robert Griffin III Sunday against Philadelphia, Kirk Cousins came back down to earth Thursday. He was 19-of-33 with a touchdown and four interceptions -- all in the second half. He also lost a fumble.
"Something you need to play through some of these ruts," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "As a quarterback, he's a guy that's going to have to lead us the next few weeks. We need himself to pull himself out of this and keep his head up."
Alfred Morris carried the ball 12 times for 63 yards and a score for the Redskins (1-3), who have lost their last two games.
Things fell apart for Washington in the third quarter, where Cousins fired three of his picks.
Initially, though, it appeared the Redskins may have been on the verge of mounting a comeback after falling 24-7 at halftime. Morris dashed 20 yards through a crease off left tackle for a score to cap their opening drive of the third, a 5-play, 83-yard march.
Washington forced a Giants punt, but Prince Amukamara jumped in front of Ryan Grant for an interception along the left sideline and returned it 21 yards to the Redskins 28.
The Redskins got the ball back five plays later. Randle ran a quick slant and hauled in the Manning pass in the end zone for just a split-second before a charging Brandon Meriweather popped the ball into the air with a big hit. The ball landed into the waiting arms of Keenan Robinson for a pick at the 1-yard line.
Cousins threw his second interception two snaps later, overthrowing Pierre Garcon on a go route along the left sideline. Quintin Demps came up with the easy pick and brought it back to the Washington 35.
The Giants then outscored the Redskins 21-0 the rest of the way.
Manning flipped a 2-yard TD pass to a wide-open Daniel Fells in the back right corner of the end zone to conclude a quick 4-play, 35-yard sequence and increase New York's spread to 31-14.
Cousins' third interception came in the waning moments of the third, as Trumaine McBride's pick led to Manning's 1-yard TD scamper early in the fourth.
Cousins was intercepted again on Washington's ensuing touch. Antrel Rolle hauled in the deep pass intended for DeSean Jackson. Andre Williams then finished off a 9-play, 46-yard drive with a 1-yard TD plunge for a 45-14 Giants lead.
Earlier, Donnell went up and snatched a 5-yard score on a seam route to open the scoring at the 7:35 mark of the first and then brought in a 6-yard TD pass in the back of the end zone early in the second to stake New York to a 14-0 advantage.
Cousins fired an 18-yard TD pass to Andre Roberts with 8:50 to go in the second to tie the score, but New York countered on its next touch, with Donnell coming down with a jump ball in the back right corner of the end zone.
McBride ripped the ball away from Logan Paulsen following a 5-yard reception on Washington's next series and the Giants regained possession at their own 18-yard line with 1:16 to go in the half.
Cruz's 29-yard reception led to Josh Brown's 29-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard, Martellus Bennett and Brandon Myers were the last four Giants starting tight ends ... Donnell had one career touchdown catch entering the game and leads the team with 25 receptions ... The Giants were 11-of-16 on third down, while Washington finished 1-of-8 ... New York outgained Washington, 449-329 ... Redskins tight end Niles Paul left the game in the first half following a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit at the end of a 28- yard catch ... Washington left tackle Trent Williams departed in the second with due to a right knee strain.