Week 3 provides the New York Giants with a chance to make a real statement in the NFC East and to potentially bury one of their divisional rivals already.
The Giants (2-0) have a chance to make a real statement in the division this Sunday (1 p.m., FOX) when they host the Washington Redskins (0-2). A win, and the Giants would be in good shape to contend for the division and make a return trip to the playoffs.
They face a Redskins team that is struggling right now and is minus-26 in net points, second worst in the NFL.
1. Some CB against some WR
Josh Norman was with the Carolina Panthers last year but a new team doesn’t seem to change the animosity with Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The two had a physical meeting late last season, to put it mildly, with punches being exchanged on the field. That carried over to this past offseason where the two players sniped at each other publicly. Beckham was very bland this week in talking about seeing Norman again.
“I expect him to play his game the way he’s always played to get him in the position he is now,” Beckham said. “He’s obviously done a good job of that. I expect him to play his game.”
This likely won’t be two guys tickling each other, and Beckham must keep his cool this time around.
2. Breakout game for Giants offense
Last week’s win against the New Orleans Saints was expected to be a high-scoring affair for the Giants, who instead failed to put up an offensive touchdown. Now, against a Redskins defense that has given up 65 points this year, third-highest in the NFL, perhaps this is the game where the Giants roll out a few TDs. The good news is that they’re moving the ball well and efficiently; quarterback Eli Manning did throw for 368 yards last weekend and has a solid 106.9 quarterback rating. If they can get one offensive touchdown then this offense can start rolling.
3. Cousins on the other hand ...
After getting that big money in the offseason, Kirk Cousins hasn’t exactly lit it up for Washington as he faces mounting criticism over his performance. He has thrown for a decent number of yards (693 yards) to date this season but his one touchdown and three interceptions has hurt his team.
“Kirk's always been a very resilient guy, he's proven that already. I don't think that's going to change, so I expect him to bounce back, I really do,” Washington head coach Jay Gruden said. “There's nothing about him that says otherwise. He's always bounced back. He's been pulled before, he's been a backup, he's been a fourth-round pick, he's had to come in as a relief pitcher, he's had to come in as a starter, he's been benched, he's played poorly and he's played great. We expect him to continue to get better and bounce back in a big way. He hasn't lost any confidence. He's just going to play the position, do the best he can, study the New York Giants and come up with a good plan and move forward.”