The Washington Redskins sit a game behind the New York Giants for the NFC East lead. They’ll have a chance to bite into that deficit when Sunday rolls around.
Both teams are coming off emotional highs in Week 7. The Giants' drubbing of the 49ers on the road may have been the best performance of any team this season. Meanwhile, RGIII did RGIII things against the Minnesota Vikings to take home a double-digit win.
Which hot team will continue their run? The NFC East will have a dramatically different look after this matchup.
As for the spread, fantasy picks and predictions, there’s a buffet full of information just below.
When: Monday, October 21 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Live Streaming: NFL Game Pass
Spread: New York -6 (Bovada)
After the Giants clobbered the San Francisco 49ers into submission, they are getting a ton of respect from the oddsmakers. The defending champions are getting healthy and playing their best football at this moment.
In a rivalry game in which both teams have been impressive, six points is a ton to give away. The Giants play as a much better team on the road than at home, especially against the spread.
The RGIII factor certainly has to come into play, as he makes the ‘Skins a wild card in any game. Still, you have to wonder when his inexperience in this league will catch up to him. Meeting the Giants pass rush may do just that.
Both teams have lit up the scoreboard in recent weeks; the Giants hung up 26 on possibly the league’s best defense in San Francisco while the ‘Skins put up a cool 38 against Minnesota.
Washington has the best over/under record in the league, going over the total five out of six times. Against the explosive Giants, there may be no need to buck the trend now.
When these two teams meet though, their familiarity with each other seems to keep points off the board. Be wary of this line, as it may just end up right below the number.
Redskins: Alfred Morris
To keep Eli Manning off the field, Washington will pound the rock with their featured back. Morris has shown he can carry the full load that Mike Shanahan asks of his lead rushers, with 116 carries on the year.
He’s put those touches to good use, rushing for a gaudy 4.6 per rush average. The Giants running defense kept the 49ers vaunted rush in check, but that was a product of going up by double-digits early.
Morris will have to strike early and the offensive line will have to hold serve for a big fantasy payday.
Giants: Hakeem Nicks
Nicks is only regaining his bearings in his second week back from injury, so he should have more production against the weak ‘Skins pass defense.
Manning and Nicks are beginning to reestablish their passing connection, starting with three catches for 44 yards against the 49ers. He’s become a deep threat to complement Victor Cruz’s ability in the slot, so those fantasy owners in yards leagues should be happy campers.
Those who held on and waited for Nicks to come back should see it pay off in this NFC East showdown.
Redskins Key to the Game: Keep the Giants’ Passing Game in Check
Washington currently stands as the worst passing defense in the NFL, while the Giants are regarded one of the league’s best passing offenses. Hakeem Nicks is just coming back into form from multiple injuries, so we may not have seen their best just yet.
The Redskins will need to find a way to slow Eli down, whether it’s by pressuring the two-time Super Bowl winner or forcing throws into tight windows. A little help from the offensive line couldn’t hurt either.
Giants Key to the Game: Avoid the “Letdown” Performance
The Giants have long been one of the NFL’s biggest enigmas, winning both of their recent Super Bowls after scraping and clawing for a Wild Card berth during the season.
The matchup versus the Redskins presents the perfect Giants’ trap game after a scintillating performance at San Francisco.
With the way Ahmad Bradshaw has been running the ball combined with their passing prowess, it seems New York can only stop themselves on the offensive end.
On the other hand, this will be their first game against RGIII; the mystery may be enough for an upset win. Great tidbit from Peter Schrager on how they plan to stop the ‘Skins QB:
David Carr is Robert Griffin III on the Giants scout team this week. Great line from him. "I'm RG minus 5."— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) October 18, 2012
Prediction: Redskins 31 Giants 27
I smell upset here for the Giants, who have yet to see RGIII in person; they won’t be able to simulate his speed and elusiveness in practice (see tweet above). The Redskins don’t need to have the perfect plan to stop the Giants, history shows they will find a way to stop themselves.
As a result, I’m all over taking points with the Redskins. If you’re in a picks pool or like to do bets “for fun”, Washington is the right move.