Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., (grass, outdoors)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Forecast: Sunny, clear skies with temperatures in the mid-60s. Wind out of the southwest at 10 mph.
Spread: Giants by 6
2012 records: Redskins (Overall: 3-3, NFC East: 0-0); Giants (Overall: 4-2, NFC East: 0-2)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Dec. 18, 2011: Redskins 23, Giants 10; Sept. 11, 2011: Redskins 28, Giants 14. Series record: Giants lead 92-64-4.
What matters: The pass rush is back (six sacks in Week 6) just in time to face the league’s fastest quarterback. Robert Griffin III impressed the Giants' defenders with his 76-yard touchdown run against the Vikings, but coach Tom Coughlin cautioned the media Friday that the play wasn’t a designed run. Griffin didn’t find an open receiver, so he just took off and since he has a 100.5 QB rating, it’s apparent that New York has more to defend than just the option. For the Giants to succeed against the Redskins, they’ll have to keep Griffin in the pocket, but they also can’t give him all day to throw. Another early lead -- like the one they brought into the second half against the 49ers last week -- would force Griffin into more passing attempts, and that’s where Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora will get chances to make plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Who matters: DT Linval Joseph has been key this season. Injuries to DT Chris Canty -- who was taken off PUP this week and could make his debut Sunday -- and Rocky Bernard have left Joseph as the only experienced interior defensive lineman. Despite the youth at the position (Markus Kuhn is 26, although a rookie, and Marvin Austin has appeared in just three regular season games) the Giants have played well against the run the past two weeks. The Redskins rank second in the NFL in rushing, but the Giants held the 49ers to 80 yards on the ground last week, and some of that can be credited to Joseph’s disruptive play along the line.
Key matchups: Redskins ILB London Fletcher isn’t getting younger, but that hasn’t seemed to affect his production. He leads the Redskins with 54 tackles and is a major reason the defense ranks eighth against the run. The Giants have had a running renaissance. RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who is questionable with a sore foot, has gained 316 yards his past two games and Andre Brown is returning to the backfield after suffering a concussion in Week 5. Throw in rookie David Wilson, who has gained 79 yards on nine carries in his last two games, and Washington has an array of rushing threats to worry about. Fletcher is the quarterback of that defense, so he’s primarily responsible for any success or failures the Redskins have against the run.
Injuries of note: WR Hakeem Nicks was listed as “probable” for Sunday’s game, along with Brown (concussion) and CB Corey Webster (hand/hamstring). LB Michael Boley (hip) and Bradshaw (foot) are questionable, and DT Rocky Bernard (quad), S Kenny Phillips (knee), RB Da’Rel Scott (knee) and LB Jacquian Williams (knee) are out.
Nicks practiced three times this week and said he feels much better than Sunday, when he had just three catches.
Williams’ injury is significant because his speed would be a threat against Griffin. Expect LB Keith Rivers to have an increased role in Williams’ absence.
RT David Diehl is healthy after spraining his MCL in Week 2, but he may be relegated to the blocking tight end role for the second consecutive week. He usually starts, but Sean Locklear has played well in his place.
Inside stuff: Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has adopted his offensive scheme to Griffin’s talents, but Giants backup QB David Carr recognizes some tendencies from his days with the Houston Texans. Carr played under offensive coordinator and current Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, who previously worked for Shanahan with the Denver Broncos, in 2006. And because Carr has familiarity with the scheme, he’s been a useful member of the scout team this week.
“Very valuable, especially in practice with the looks and then scrambling and throwing the football,” defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. “He has those traits [that Griffin has]. He’s not as gifted, but he has those traits. So it really helps you as far your look is concerned for the defense.”
Connections: New York RB Brown, Locklear and CB Justin Tryon have played for Washington. Three Giants coaches -- TEs coach Mike Pope, DL coach Robert Nunn and OL coach Pat Flaherty -- previously worked with the Redskins. New Yorkers will be familiar with Washington’s WRs coach Ike Hilliard as well as DT Barry Cofield.
Stats you should know: After being sacked three times in Week 1, Eli Manning has gone down just once in the following five weeks. Considering the line has been playing without Diehl, that’s a pretty remarkable statistic. The pass protection and run blocking have actually improved. New York has gained at least 94 rushing yards in all but one of its past five games.
Record watch: K Lawrence Tynes has hit a franchise-record 175 consecutive extra points. He hasn’t missed since Oct. 21, 2007.
Looking ahead: The Giants need a divisional win badly because they don’t want to be 0-3 in the NFC East when they travel to Dallas next week. The Giants have two AFC Central matchups (Week 9 at home against Pittsburgh and Week 10 at Cincinnati) before the their Week 11 bye.
Prediction: Giants 26, Redskins 13