Playing against Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III brought back memories of college football for Giants defensive end Justin Tuck -- and they weren't fond memories.

Nothing is more frustrating to a defensive lineman than trying to contain an option quarterback, and Griffin qualified as the prototype with 258 passing yards and 89 rushing yards Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

"I thought Navy was tough, and Air Force when I played them," Tuck said of the triple-option attacks he faced when he played for Notre Dame. "You think pass, and it's a run. You think run, it's pass. If you're not focused, they can make you look very bad."

The Giants' Super Bowl defense was 92 seconds away from embarrassment after Griffin hit a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss to take the lead with that much time left on the clock. But they got bailed out by Eli Manning's 77-yard TD pass to Victor Cruz for a 27-23 victory.

Griffin still had 1:13 left to work with, but Moss fumbled after a catch at the Redskins' 43 and Giants defensive back Jayron Hosley, who was beaten by Moss on his TD, recovered to secure the win.

Giants safety Stevie Brown intercepted Griffin late in the third quarter when he read the rookie's eyes and was in position for the overthrow. But reading run or pass was tough with Griffin's ballhandling and his threat as a runner.

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"It's definitely hard," Brown said. "You've got to be sound in your keys reading everything because you never know if he's keeping it or pitching or throwing."

Griffin's signature play came on fourth-and-10 at the Redskins' 23 early in the 77-yard drive for the go-ahead TD to Moss. Jason Pierre-Paul had Griffin and then didn't have him as the rookie scrambled to complete a 19-yard pass.

"He's faster than I thought he was, very fast," Pierre-Paul said. "I don't know if we lost contain or if one of us busted our assignment, but we should have had that."

Tuck, who had a sack, marveled at the Heisman Trophy winner's escapability. "He made a play where I had to dive for him, and he still ran around me like he was just out there playing in the backyard," he said. "It's an eerie feeling when you look up and that quick, he's 30 yards downfield."