New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins: Preview and Prediction

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New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins: Preview and Prediction
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Only the power of the NFC East could keep this thing in prime time. NBC's flex options were limited, but I can't see a matchup between two losing teams in any other division staying on the Sunday Night Football schedule this late in the season.

The New York Giants and Washington Redskins, though, are major exceptions to the rule. 

And thus the nation will again be forced to watch a struggling Robert Griffin III and his lethargic Redskins play out the string against a Giants team that also saw its playoff hopes go down the drain a week ago. 

Can you see why I didn't get into marketing, advertising or PR? 

This is just a depressing matchup between two franchises in desperate need of offseason overhauls. But inevitably, plenty of fans are still eager to tune in. Some want to see who can make an impact for future consideration, and others won't give up until the fat lady is on her final verse. 

Regardless, we've got a preview and a prediction for you...

 

What New York must do to win, offensive edition

Just don't turn it over. The Giants will get plenty of opportunities to score as long as they don't shoot themselves in the foot.  

 

What New York must do to win, defensive edition

Don't allow Alfred Morris to take over the game. That's what the 'Skins should be trying to do, but the New York front seven has to force Washington to throw it.  

 

What Washington must do to win, offensive edition

Get Morris into a groove. Griffin is taking too many hits, and there's nothing that Washington can do to fix that offensive line midseason. The smart option is to go to Morris, who also happens to be the best offensive player on the team right now.  

 

What Washington must do to win, defensive edition

Take care of Victor Cruz and then go for broke. This defense is leaky but opportunistic. Force Eli Manning into making mistakes and try to score some points.  

Most touchdowns on defense, 2013
Def. touchdowns Takeaways
Washington Redskins 5 17
Chicago Bears 5 22
Dallas Cowboys 5 25
St. Louis Rams 5 22
Kansas City Chiefs 4 24

Pro Football Reference

Five most important non-quarterbacks, Giants edition

Cruz: He can change the game by taking advantage of Washington's weak secondary, just as he did last season against the 'Skins.

Jon Beason: That whole front seven has to be good against the run, but he leads the way.

Andre Brown: If the Giants are going to keep the turnovers at a minimum, they'll need balance.

Will Beatty: And good pass protection.

Jason Pierre-Paul: Gotta take advantage of the pass-protection issues the 'Skins are having.  

 

Five most important non-quarterbacks, Redskins edition

Morris: I don't know if this team can beat anyone right now, but without Morris, I can guarantee you Washington stands no chance.

DeAngelo Hall: If they're going to get some takeaways, Hall is the first defender to look at. He's a vulture.

Trent Williams, Will Montgomery and Kory Lichtensteiger: I considered going with the entire line, because Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus have to be better as well, but Morris and Hall deserve spots on the list. Williams had his worst game of the season last week. That can't happen again.  

 

Injury analysis, Giants edition

They're hopeful Hakeem Nicks (groin) will return, and he's been practicing, as has Corey Webster (ankle). That's nice, but Brandon Jacobs (knee), Trumaine McBride (groin), Pierre-Paul (shoulder) and Terrell Thomas (knee) have all been out. All four of those guys have been significant of late, so that's dangerous. 

 

Who will win on Sunday?

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Injury analysis, Redskins edition

Rookie tight end Jordan Reed has been limited with a concussion. RGIII isn't himself without his new safety valve. Aside from that, though, the 'Skins are quite healthy, which is a little weird considering how bad they've been.

 

Bleacher Report NFC East blog prediction: Giants 30, Redskins 13

Tom Coughlin won't let his team throw in the towel, whereas it looks as though Washington has already done that. On short rest, the 'Skins fall again.

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