While the Giants enter coming off a come-from-behind win under must-win circumstances against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14, the Redskins enter having lost six of their last seven games despite a good showing against the New England Patriots (10-3).
Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
When: Sunday at 1 p.m. EST
Listen: 660 AM in New York, 980 AM in Washington D.C.
Live Stream: NFL.com Audio Pass ($19.99 for season/playoffs subscription; $14.99 playoffs subscription)
Betting Line: Over/Under: 46.5, Spread: NY Giants -7
With the Redskins’ season essentially over, the Giants have the most at stake in this matchup. In Week 1, the Redskins exploited the Giants’ poor defense with quarterback Rex Grossman having a field day. Grossman passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 28-14 Washington victory.
The Giants defense has yet to improve and thus this game will likely rest on the shoulders of quarterback Eli Manning. Manning has guided his team to four comebacks in six of the Giants' seven victories this season. He holds a tie for the record for fourth-quarter touchdown passes in a season with 14—tied with Johnny Unitas and his brother Peyton Manning.
Washington’s Biggest Concern
Despite a hot start, the Redskins have really fizzled. They have lost six of their last seven, and the defense has been unable to stop opposing offenses from racking up points. The Jets and Patriots each posted 34 points against the Redskins.
If the Redskins wish to contend in this matchup—no matter the likeliness of them scoring points as well—they must keep the Giants out of the end zone.
New York’s Biggest Concern
The Giants’ biggest concern is blatantly obvious, unfortunately. The defense has not performed up to par since the season opener, in which they were thrashed by Rex Grossman and the Redskins’ offense.
With a quarterback who passed for 305 yards against the Giants in Week 1 and breakout running back Roy Helu—who has rushed for 100 yards or more in each of the Redskins’ last three games—the Giants would certainly appear at a disadvantage going up against the Redskins’ offense.
The Giants must tighten up on defense and surrender fewer big plays and fewer points on the scoreboard if they wish to control this Week 15 meeting at home.
Washington’s Key Player: Roy Helu, RB
Roy Helu comes into this game with three consecutive 100-yard performances for the Redskins. The Giants are the NFL’s 22nd-ranked run defense. Sounds like a good opportunity for Helu and the Redskins.
The Redskins will come into this game planning to pound the ball and pound it often against the Giants' struggling defense. If Helu is able to be successful, the passing attack should come much easier than it already shall for the Redskins in New York.
New York’s Key Player: Aaron Ross, CB
No Giants’ defensive player is more of a headache than cornerback Aaron Ross right now. Ross has struggled dramatically in pass coverage, whether it’s been the top receivers in the game or the most mediocre of opponents.
Ross must step it up in coverage and cut down on allowing his receivers to gain big yardage every time the offense throws his way. He has yet to give opposing teams reason not to throw to him, so you can expect the Redskins to take shots his way all afternoon.
This is going to be a tougher test than it should be for the Giants, purely because of their defense. Luckily for Big Blue, they have Eli Manning on their side.
The Redskins will push the Giants to the limit, but that Packers loss has sparked something inside the Giants and they are not going to let their playoff hopes slip at the hands of the lowly Redskins.
Manning and Co. get revenge for their Week 1 loss and pull away in the fourth quarter, but the victory doesn’t come nearly as comfortably as they would like.
Giants 33, Redskins 24