New York Giants: Keys To Beating The Washington Redskins

Richard ReschCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 06:  Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants makes a 21-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys at Giants Stadium on December 6, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won 31-24.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

1. Don't Overlook The Redskins

It may be easy to look at the Redskins' 4-9 record and think they are a pushover, but the reality is, they are just a few breaks away from being 7-6 and right in the thick of the NFC playoff picture. From week 11 to week 13, the Redskins lost three games to very good teams by a combined margin of seven points, including an overtime loss to the undefeated New Orleans Saints.

They are playing as well as they have all season right now and they are just the kind of spoiler I wouldn't want to face if I were on a contending team,but the Giants are the more talented team, and if they play up to their potential, they will win this game.


2. Don't Rely On Defense

This key is more of a letter to Kevin Gilbride and the Giants offense than it is a specific strategy point. Somehow, Gilbride and the Giants' offense has miraculously become the shining beacon of hope for the Giants. If the team is going to make the playoffs, it will have to be on the strength of the offense, since the defense has proven that it is completely inept. Quite a turnaround from what this franchise is use to.

Basically what I'm saying is, that the Giants' offense cannot expect any favors from the Giants' defense. They are going to have to put up points, and they must not rest on their laurels if they get off to a good start. If they are up 14 with eight minutes left, they should not take their foot off the pedal, because the defense has shown it cannot be counted onto hold late leads.

The remaining keys will be specific to the offense until the defense proves it is not a hopeless case.

3. Keep Going To Nicks

Eli Manning must not be discouraged by Hakeem Nicks' three bad drops Sunday night against the Eagles and I don't believe he will be. Nicks is known for his great hands, so his case of the dropsies is likely an aberration and not a sign of things to come. Nicks showed that with the ball in his hands, he is a playmaker, breaking away from two Eagles defenders after the catch for a long 68 yard touchdown.

Nicks, who leads all rookies with 685 receiving yards, will start again opposite Steve Smith and Eli should look his way often, as the two continue to build a rapport that could make them one of the better QB-WR combinations for the next few years.


4. Beware of Orakpo

While the Giants have one of the top rookies on the offensive side of the ball, the Redskins boast one of the best defensive rookies in Brian Orakpo. The defensive lineman from Texas has 11.0 sacks on the year, including four last week against the Raiders. While no one expects him to repeat that performance, he is a dangerous little pass rusher and he needs to be accounted for in games.


5. Don't Fumble

The Giants fumbled five times and lost four of them Sunday night against the Eagles. There really isn't much more to say about this. Just don't fumble the ball; it's that simple.