Team Giants


Giants - Redskins
Game 16 preview
Sun Dec 29, 1:00 PM - Redskins at Giants

Giants (6-9) vs Redskins (3-12)
The Cowboys beat the Redskins last week, but they had to really earn it. It took a come from behind effort by Tony Romo in the fourth quarter to overcome a nine point deficit, and with a touchdown in the final minute they took down the Redskins 24-23.
Last Sunday the Giants came up with an unexpected victory over the heavily favored Detroit Lions. The 23-20 overtime win knocked the Lions out of contention, and it showed that the Giants will play and give it their all against any team despite records or standings.

Washington Redskins.
Last year around this time the Redskins were wrapping up the NFC East after reeling off seven straight wins. Their last game was a 28-18 victory over the Dallas Cowboys and it earned them their first division title since 1999. It was a thrilling season for the loyal fans after going through four straight years of seeing their team finish up last in the division. Now, despite the outcome of this final season game with the Giants, they're back in the basement once again. No team in the NFC has a worse win-loss record and only the Houston Texans in the AFC has one less win, with all the rest having at least one more. The Redskins are the only team in both leagues to have no victories over an opponent in their own division. That's about all they have in their own power to change, with a victory over the Giants on Sunday.

Redskins Offense.
Robert Griffin III was the star of this team last year and was voted the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Now he is no longer the starting quarterback. Griffin played in the last game against the Giants, but since then backup quarterback Kirk Cousins has been moved into his spot. Cousins will be making his third straight start this season. He had started in only one other game last year when Griffin was out with a sprained right knee and Cousins kept the team's winning streak alive with a 38-21 win over Cleveland. Cousins has thrown four touchdowns and three interceptions in these last two games, both close losses.
Pierre Garcon leads all the receivers in the league with 107 receptions and is definitely Cousins go-to guy on the field. Cousins targeted him 10 times in his first start in Atlanta and 18 times last week against Dallas. Santana Moss was next on Cousin's list in that game and saw only 4 balls tossed his way. The 13-year veteran is still very dangerous and shouldn't be overlooked.
Moss and upcoming Aldrick Robinson drew much more attention in Cousin's first outing, but that really dropped off last game. Running back Alfred Morris is fifth in the league with 1,213 rushing yards, but gained just 26 yards last game against the Giants. Morris got the ball just 9 times in the first half and only twice in the second in that loss even though he was healthy and wondering why himself. That raised questions, but just add that to the list coach Mike Shanahan will be answering if he's still around next year.

Redskins Defense.
They hit Tony Romo with two sacks and an interception and did much more damage to him that became very apparent after last weeks game, but they still let a nice 23-14 fourth quarter lead disappear and lost the game. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is having a great season and leads this team with four interceptions including the one he had last week. Barry Cofield, Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are all solid performers up front. Orakpo took advantage of Giants left tackle Will Beatty last time the two teams met and Eli Manning was under the gun. Orakpo is hurt with a strained groin and might not play in this game.
They know they need to keep pressure on Manning because they have a weak secondary to protect. They are just about the worst team in redzone protection. If you get there, two out of three times you'll score a touchdown. Last week they were winning a game after dropping six in a row, and had linebacker London Fletcher, likely playing in the last home game of his Redskins career. Even with that inspiration they couldn't bring joy to themselves or the stadium fans. Eight of these eleven defensive starters are positioned to be free agents after this game is over. Who knows where their minds will be while they play it.

Giants Offense.
Eli Manning was spot on last time using play-action passes against the Redskins. Those plays resulted in one touchdown while averaging 16 yards an attempt. In this meeting Manning is without Victor Cruz his top wide receiver. Jerrel Jernigan stepped up last week and was the top receiver catching six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Guard David Diehl is expected back to help the line after missing the Detroit game with a knee injury. Left tackle Will Beatty will find the Redskins pass rush on him since he was a weak point in their last game.
The running back situation is tricky to say the least.
Rookie Michael Cox could be the starter since Andre Brown and Peyton Hillis are both being treated for concussions. Both of them are better blockers for Manning's passing game. Last week you saw Manning rolling out of the pocket to take some of the heat off his patchworked offensive line. Manning and Brandon Myers have been connecting and the Redskin defense could afford an opportunity for Hakeem Nicks to haul in his first touchdown catch of the season in the final game. Nicks and Manning almost connected for one last week.

Giants Defense.
Justin Tuck had four sacks in a span of seven offensive plays in his last outing against these Redskins and that may have helped to inspire a quarterback change shortly after. To be fair Robert Griffin III was chewing up this defense completing 16 of 17 passes in the first half, but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell must have figured something out. That's all changed now with a pocket passer like Cousins in there except that top receiver Pierre Garcon was then for Griffin and still is now the main target. He's had at least five catches in every game including his season-high 11 catches for 144 yards last week. On Garcon's mind should be the fact that safety Will Hill wrestled the ball from him after a catch near midfield with less than two minutes remaining to help seal the Giants victory a few weeks ago.
Last week against Detroit, Mathias Kiwanuka came up with two sacks and a forced fumble. Kiwanuka, Tuck, Cullen Jenkins and Linval Joseph will be looking to put big pressure on a quarterback who doesn't have many starts to his name and is prone to throwing interceptions. The Giants have an alert secondary led by Antrel Rolle and just last game Will Hill snatched a deflected ball and took it 38 yards for a touchdown. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will not play, and so has missed the final five games of the season with his shoulder injury. Tuck will be a free agent and this could be his final game in a Giants uniform.

The Giants came away with a 24-17 victory the last time these two teams met up a few short weeks ago. The Giants then dropped two games to San Diego and Seattle before achieving their 23-20 overtime upset over Detroit last week. The Redskins dropped a game to Kansas City, switched their starting quarterback to Kirk Cousins and then continued their losing streak with close one point losses to Atlanta and Dallas last week. It's been a tough season for both teams, but the Redskins are nursing a long seven game losing streak and have had way too many distractions. It's hard to envision the visiting Redskins being very motivated for this last game of the season except to have their nightmare finally end.

NFC East
On Sunday the Giants play the Redskins at 1pm. Later on at 8:30pm the Cowboys (8-7) host the Eagles (9-6) in the final game of the season, to see which team will own the NFC East title. The Giants and Eagles are favored to win in their games.

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Giants have turned the ball over 41 times, the most in the NFL.

Giants Eli Manning has set a career high with a league-worst 26 interceptions..

Giants will finish with their first losing season since going 6-10 in Tom Coughlin's first year in 2004.

Redskins Pierre Garcon has a franchise-record 107 receptions.

Redskins will finish last for the fifth time in six seasons.

Redskins Mike Shanahan will close out the season with his worst record in 20 seasons as a head coach.
Next Game
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