The Giants face a huge division matchup on national TV against the Redskins. A win could put a stranglehold on the division, while a loss would likely put not just the Skins, but also the Cowboys, back in the playoff hunt.
Three things to watch for ...
1. Will RG3 ever slow down?
Giants’ defensive end Justin Tuck still cringes at the thought of having to chase down Redskins’ star quarterback Robert Griffin III when the teams faced off in Week 7. During that game, Griffin did everything he could to keep Washington in the contest before ultimately falling to New York, 27-23. Griffin led his team on a terrific 77-yard drive that culminated with a 30-yard go-ahead touchdown strike to Santana Moss with 90 seconds remaining. If not for a blown defensive coverage by Washington on the ensuing Giants’ drive when Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz for a 77-yard scoring toss just 19 seconds later, Griffin’s legend would be even bigger than it already is.
Tuck said he hopes it won’t come down to Griffin’s heroics and that the Giants can “somehow slow him down.” Tuck added following a sigh that for as long as he’s a Giant, Griffin is “going to be a fixture in my dreams and nightmares.”
2. Washington’s other rookie sensation
Big Blue has an interesting problem on their hands. Even if they manage to slow down Griffin, it doesn’t mean Washington’s offense falls by the wayside, because rookie running back Alfred Morris is having just as good a season. Morris is fifth in the league with 982 rushing yards and has taken the league by storm. He’s yet another under-the-radar running back found by Mike Shanahan. Morris, a sixth-round selection, has logged 4.7 yards per carry, and has scored six rushing touchdowns. He’s also made history with Griffin as they are the first rookie quarterback-running back teammate tandem to each rush for 500 yards in a season. Big Blue will need to pick its poison.
3. Can Giants get own rushing attack on track?
The Giants’ run game is the exact of opposite of Washington. Ahmad Bradshaw is constantly battling ailments, the No. 2 back, Andre Brown, was put on designated-for-return injured reserve with a broken leg, and their third option, rookie David Wilson, has yet to live up to his first-round value. The Giants’ rushing attack can be described as inconsistent at best. And while Washington boasts a robust 162.9 rushing yards per game, New York limps in with a meager 114.6 per game. And thanks to Griffin’s option forays, Washington also leads in rushing yards per attempt — 5.2 to 4.5. How well either Bradshaw or Wilson impacts the game could go a long way into deciding whether the Giants can have some offensive balance, while also keeping the dangerous Griffin on the sidelines.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.