The Giants should not take the 'Skins lightly, especially when they lost to them in the season opener.
However, the Giants are playing much better on the offensive side of the ball than they played on that day. The chief example of that is Eli Manning, who had without a doubt his worst game of the season in Week 1.
If the Giants are going to win on Sunday, they'll need these players to step up.
Just getting these two studs out of the way first. This is not an indictment of their play at all—these two have been carrying the Giants along the way to their first-place standing.
Without question they are the MVPs of the Giants so far, and the team obviously needs them at their best if they want to win.
Antrel Rolle has been doing a lot of talking this week, and if he doesn't show up on Sunday he'll definitely hear it from the fans.
He complained that he was given the blame for Dez Bryant's touchdown and has not backed off that stance.
The secondary has been pretty awful the past couple of weeks—some have attributed it to the lack of depth, some have attributed it to playing three elite quarterbacks in a row.
Whatever the case is, the secondary cannot get dominated by Rex Grossman or they'll have a fan riot on their hands.
Rolle is a key part of the secondary's success.
Justin Tuck is having one of the worst seasons, in terms of sack totals, in his career. Since becoming a major part of the rotation in 2007, he has had no fewer than six sacks in a season.
He only has three this year.
The secondary is not built on the ability to hold coverage for extended periods, they are built on having a front four that can bring pressure and force the offense to make throws earlier than they would want to.
They have been pretty terrible the past several weeks. After having 26 sacks through the first seven games, they have just 10 in their last six.
Five of those last 10 have come in the last two games, so the pressure is definitely coming back, but Tuck is still showing signs of the lingering injuries he's been dealing with all year.
He needs to step up—Jason Pierre-Paul cannot do it all every week.
The running game in 2011 has been atrocious, but for some reason has picked up over the previous two games. It starts and ends with Brandon Jacobs, who has been running hard for the first time all season.
He had his best game of the year against Dallas finishing with 19 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Jacobs has to wear down the Redskins' defense which is ranked No. 2 in the NFC and No. 10 in the NFL. The Redskins dominated the Giants' offense in their previous meeting, that had better not be the case in Round 2.
One thing that could be attributed to the rejuvenation of the run game is the blocking, and the main difference in the past two games has been Mitch Petrus' addition to the starting lineup.
With both Will Beatty and David Baas out, the Giants went with Kevin Boothe and Mitch Petrus at the center and left guard positions.
It has seemingly jump started the O-line—Petrus plays with a ferocity that is infectious. He needs to keep it up this week against a very good defensive front for the Redskins.
This has as much to do with helping the Giants' secondary as it does with Prince Amukamara proving his own self worth.
The Giants have had problems in the secondary all year long and were supposed to be helped when Amukamara came back from his foot injury against the Eagles.
His rookie season has not started off great.
Amukamara has shown no coverage skills whatsoever and also lacks in the tackling department. To avoid being labeled a bust, albeit early in his career, he has to start playing better.
He also has to for the sake of the Giants defense, who will not be able to go far relying on Aaron Ross and Amukamara (playing the way he has) in coverage.