With a win, the Giants would take a 1.5-game lead over the idle Philadelphia Eagles. If the Redskins emerge victorious, they would then hold the tiebreaker over New York after seven weeks.
Washington enters this game as one of the more inconsistent teams in the league. However, Robert Griffin III provides the Redskins with a dynamic presence that has the ability to keep them in every game.
The Redskins have only scored five more points than their opponents this season due to a defense that ranks 27th in the league in total yards allowed (417.2 YPG) and 26th in points yielded (28.8).
Without Griffin, this team could be considered one of the worst in football. Give the Redskins' front office credit for trading the farm for the rights to select the quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in this past April’s draft.
The Giants are riding a two-game winning streak entering Sunday’s game with the Redskins. But with a rematch with the Dallas Cowboys looming next week—one that New York will be looking forward to after Week 1’s 24-17 home loss—this has the makings of a classic trap game for Eli Manning and Co.
Though this team is a well-coached group of veterans, the Giants are no exception to falling victim of looking ahead in the schedule.
The Giants offense is clicking, and the re-emergence of running back Ahmad Bradshaw should receive most of the credit. In his last two games, he has 316 yards and two touchdowns on 57 carries. If New York can keep enough passing targets healthy for Manning, this team has a legitimate shot of repeating as champs.
Here is one bold prediction for each team in Sunday’s matchup:
RGIII Tallies Back-to-Back 100-Yard Rushing Games
Griffin’s 320 total yards in last week’s 38-26 win over the Minnesota Viking accounted for 88.6 percent of the Redskins' entire offensive output last week. Needless to say, he single-handedly won the game for Washington.
The rookie’s 76-yard jaunt late in the fourth quarter sealed the game and brought his rushing total to 13 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns—definitely not numbers typical of a quarterback.
It helped that the Vikings were pressing and needed to make a big play to get back in the game. But Griffin now has 379 yards and six touchdowns on the season, so his success on the ground is no fluke.
New York ranks 16th in the league against the rush, allowing 106.2 yards per game at 4.6 yards per carry—which is good for 24th itself.
The Giants have an aggressive front seven and would do well to keep the edge sealed off to prevent Griffin from getting loose on the outside. If the quarterback gets in trouble and can break through the first level, he could be in for another huge day.
Who wins this game?
Eli Manning Throws for 350 Yards and Four Touchdowns
As good as the Giants’ rushing attack has been the last couple of weeks, Manning should continue to find success through the air—no matter who his targets are. With Hakeem Nicks expected to play in Sunday’s game with the Redskins, we could see huge numbers out of the quarterback.
Washington’s pass defense ranks last in the NFL, allowing 328.3 yards per game and 15 touchdowns. With a healthy complement of weapons, Manning and Co. will feast on the Redskins porous secondary all afternoon.
If the Giants can get out to a lead, look for Bradshaw to play a huge part in New York’s scheme to pull out a victory. But with Washington’s eighth-ranked run defense (88.8 yards per game) and Griffin’s ability to make plays and keep the team close, Manning will see plenty of opportunities to rack up some serious stats.