While the NY Giants have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, the Redskins are walking into Sunday’s game with their season on the line. Whether the Giants choose to rest their starters or not, they will have to execute their three keys to victory.
Manning on Display: In week 3, the Giants could not come through at home, losing to the Redskins 29-27. Manning had a relatively shaky start, finishing the game with one touchdown and two interceptions. His second interception of the game sealed the win for their division rivals. Not only has Manning been struggling the past few weeks, but the Giants O-line is always a concern. This scenario is a dream for the Redskins’ pass rush, who rank among the top teams in the league with 37 sacks this season. Ryan Kerrigan leads the team with 11 sacks and has been causing chaos for opposing offenses. The Giants O-line also has the task of stopping Chris Baker, the Redskins’ 6-foot-2, 320 pound DE. He is relentless and will be a threat to Manning, who was brought down hard by Baker in their initial matchup.
Secondary Stepping Up: The Giants secondary matches up well with the Redskins’ talented receiving corps, if they play their starters that is. At a first glance, Redskins’ WR Desean Jackson looks like he’s way past his prime after turning 30. But, his offensive dominance is far from over with is explosive plays this season and killer speed. Pro-Bowl pick Janoris Jenkins would be the go-to guy to contain Jackson, but may not play while dealing with back issues. DRC could also opt out of playing this week, which could expose some coverage deficiencies. Jackson, along with Pierre Garcon are fully capable of pushing past rookie Eli Apple if the Giants elect to rest their starting duo.
OBJ vs JN Round Two: With the divisional rivalry also comes the headlines about the lingering feud between OBJ and Redskins’ star CB Josh Norman. Despite losing to the Redskins in week 3, Beckham Jr. still put on a show. He finished the game with 7 receptions for 121 receiving yards with Norman failing to contain him. In the beginning of the season, OBJ was on a cold streak, but since then, he’s been grazing the end zone with ease. It seems like every week, he’s competing against himself and testing his limit. But, things have also improved for Norman as well since their first meeting at MetLife Stadium. He killed it last week, demolishing the Bears’ offense with four pass deflections and two interceptions. Besides the 100 other reasons to tear it up in Sunday’s matchup, their season is on the line and Norman will do everything he can to shut down OBJ in their final meeting of the year (cue the background nosies of a boxing bell).