A lot of the talk surrounding this Sunday's NFC East clash between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins has centered around how the Redskins have the Giants' number as of late. This belief exists because Washington beat New York twice last year.
As the quote below from an article this week by Ohm Youngmisuk on ESPN.com shows, this belief is not only held by the writer but also by one of the Giants players.
This week's opponent should serve as a reminder of that. Last year, the Redskins not only swept the Giants with Rex Grossman calling the signals, they also soundly beat them at home to drop them to 7-7 in a game the Giants needed badly...Tom Coughlin might not even have to pull out the '0-2 in the division' card this week as motivation for his team. "If anything, he'll bring up the fact that they've had our number recently," (Michael) Boley said.
It's amazing how no one this week wants to remember this rivalry prior to 2011. Before getting swept last year the Giants won six straight against the Redskins from 2008-2010. Overall in the Tom Coughlin era the Giants are 11-5 versus their rival from the nation's capital, outscoring them 349-265.
You can't even make the case that Washington has owned Big Blue since Mike Shanahan took over as the Redskins coach in 2010. Sure the Redskins won both games last year, but they lost twice to the Giants the year before. The last time I checked a 2-2 record against a team does not equal domination.
The Giants should not be concerned about Sunday's game because the Redskins have their number. They should be concerned because the Redskins have scored 178 points this season, which is tied for second in the NFL with the Giants.
They have been so good on offense mainly due to a rushing attack that is averaging 166 yards per game and has tallied 11 touchdowns. Stopping Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris from galloping up and down MetlLife Stadium should be New York's main focus in preparation.
On the flip side, the Redskins will likely not have as much success slowing down the Giants' offense as they did in 2011. The Redskins have allowed 173 points, fourth worst in the league. Their passing defense is the biggest reason why.
Washington is allowing teams to gain an average of 328 yards per game through the air (which would easily set an NFL record for passing yards allowed per game if they keep it up for 10 more games) and they've already surrendered 15 passing touchdowns. This is not the type of defense you want facing Eli Manning and company if you are a Redskins fan.
Predicting the outcome of Sunday's game should be determined by what these two team's have done so far this season. Based on that criteria, the Giants should win. If you are going to use the "recent history" argument, however, this favors the Giants as well, despite what you're hearing this week from players and media alike.