Giants vs. Redskins: 3 Keys to a Washington Upset on Monday Night Football

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IDecember 3, 2012

Nov 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws a pass during warm ups before the game against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium. The Redskins beat the Cowboys 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins are underdogs tonight against Eli Manning and the New York Giants, but would anyone be stunned if Mike Shanahan's group came out victorious? 

It certainly won't be easy, but with John Gruden likely spewing relentless RG3 praise all night, this is what the Redskins need to do to emerge victorious and make things extremely interesting in the NFC East. 

Not Allow the Big Play

Remember how the Redskins lost to the G-Men in October? 

An inexcusable mishap by Madieu Williams and Josh Wilson that led to a 77-yard touchdown catch and run from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz. 

Since that game, opposing defenses have done everything in their power to keep Cruz in front of them, and it's worked. 

He has averaged 3.25 catches and 38 yards in the Giants' last four games. 

Cruz certainly still possesses immense big-play ability, and you know New York will look to significantly stretch Washington's susceptible secondary with Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

By keeping everything in front of them, Manning may complete more passes, but he won't kill them with momentum-shifting huge plays that get points on the board quickly. 

Feature Alfred Morris

Lost in Robert Griffin III's amazing performance against the Giants in Week 7 was Alfred Morris' productive afternoon. 

The Florida Atlantic alum, who, at his current yard-per-carry rate, would have more rushing yards than Doug Martin with the same amount of carries, was outstanding against New York. 

The Redskins gave him 22 carries, and he finished with 120 yards. 

To keep the occasionally vulnerable Giants secondary at bay, Morris needs to be a prominent feature of Washington's offensive attack, especially to help set up play-action passes for Griffin III. 

The Giants surrender 4.4 yards per rush—keep that in mind. 

RG3 will be the rightful headliner tonight, but Morris is the key to the Redskins being able to do enough offensively to stay with the G-Men. 

Let Robert Griffin III be Robert Griffin III

This is the easiest, sit-back-in-awe key to the Redskins pulling out an upset victory against the Giants at home. 

Mike Shanahan may hold his breath when Griffin III leaves the pocket and is scrambling for yardage downfield, but his elite athleticism is part of the reason he's as special as he is. 

New York will likely institute a spy on RG3 in obvious passing downs, but the Washington rookie has to utilize all of his God-given talent this evening. 

He ran for 89 yards in the earlier meeting and has to be a force on the ground again.

Sure, every time Griffin III runs, he's putting his future in jeopardy, but he's become a smarter runner of late and can make huge plays with his legs. 


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