Giants at Redskins -- Week 13
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
When: Monday, 8:20 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Spread: Redskins by 2.5
Forecast: Partly cloudy, temperatures in the mid 50s with the wind out of the south at nine mph.
Records: Giants (7-4 overall, NFC East 2-2); Redskins (Overall: 5-6, NFC East 2-1)
Past results: After losing to the Redskins twice this season, the Giants took the first meeting this year, 27-23, thanks to a late touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Victor Cruz.
Series record: This is the 160th meeting between the two teams. New York holds a 92-63-4 edge.
What matters: Contain, contain, contain. The Giants’ best bet for another win over the Redskins is to do a better job of containing QB Robert Griffin III in the pocket. In Week 7 the rookie burned New York for 258 passing yards and 89 rushing yards, much of which came on broken plays.
That’s because it’s not enough to simply cover Griffin’s targets. Even when he’s seemingly out of options the Heisman winner extends plays with his feet until a coverage breakdown or a running lane presents itself. The only antidote for that is to make sure the players responsible for outside containment stick to their assignments. This is not the week for a lot of freelancing on defense.
Who matters: With RB Andre Brown suffering a broken fibula during the Week 12 win, rookie RB David Wilson moves up to second on the depth chart behind RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who continues to deal with foot issues.
Since Bradshaw is never asked to carry the entire load by himself, Wilson is expected to see significantly more time than he has in any game this season. For that to happen, he’ll have to protect QB Eli Manning.
The good news is that Wilson has been working with FB Henry Hynoski on the team’s array of protections. Hynoski quizzed Wilson, asking him to write down every different protection and his own corresponding individual assignment.
Wilson said he got them all right (he forgot one protection, but when he was reminded, immediately knew his assignment) and he claims that he has yet to yield a sack so far this season.
If he can do that on Monday night, we can expect to see a lot more of him as the year unfolds.
Key matchups: As DT Linval Joseph goes, so goes the Giants’ run defense. His statistics aren’t overly impressive (35 total tackles), but his ability to disrupt an offense line with his size and athleticism will be crucial against Redskins rookie RB Alfred Morris.
Morris enters Monday’s game on the cusp of 1,000 yards and he had 120 yards on 22 carries against the Giants back in Week 7 as Joseph finished an unimpressive day with just a pair of tackles.
New York will have trouble surviving another day like that from Morris, so it will be up to Joseph to allow the rest of the defenders to swarm to the football.
Injuries of note: DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back) missed Friday’s practice, but coach Tom Coughlin expected him to practice on Saturday. RT David Diehl (shoulder) likely won’t play, but the team has OT Sean Locklear to step in and he’s done well all season. S Kenny Phillips will be dealing with a sore right knee if he plays on Monday. His presence would allow the Giants to stick in their three-safety formation. CB Jayron Hosley has a sore shoulder but expects to play, WR Domenik Hixon has been practicing on his sore ankle and C David Baas should be ready to go despite a shoulder injury. LB Jacquian Williams (knee) said he doesn’t expect to be back on Monday night.
Inside stuff: SLB/DE Mathias Kiwanuka appears ready to become a full-time defensive lineman again.
The team never really replaced departed DE Dave Tollefson over the offseason, which means defensive ends Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora have been asked to play a bit more than they’re used to.
With the return of the three-safety formation, Kiwanuka has gone back to his natural position and he’s also rotated in at defensive tackle as well.
Kiwnanuka may not play as much as a defensive lineman, but he’s better at that than he is at playing linebacker.
Connections: Recently signed Giants RB Ryan Torain previously played with the Redskins, while Washington DT Barry Cofield was once a major presence on New York’s defensive line. Also, Locklear spent two seasons with the Redskins while tight ends coach Mike Pope worked in Washington from 1997 until 1999.
Stats you should know: The Giants have forced a turnover in 40 of their last 43 games (including the playoffs), but they’re just 1-2 when they don’t do that. New York’s defense is predicated on turnovers, and if Washington takes care of the football, Manning will have less opportunities.
Looking ahead: New York hosts New Orleans next week before back-to-back road games against Atlanta and Baltimore respectively. The Giants close their season against the Eagles on Dec. 30. Washington, meanwhile, sees Baltimore in Week 14, visits Cleveland in Week 15 and Philadelphia in Week 16 before coming home to host Dallas in the regular season finale.
Prediction: Giants 30, Redskins 17
Follow the Giants and Alex Raskin @CBSGiants and @AlexRaskinNYC.
Giants Game Preview vs. Redskins: Analysis, prediction, TV info
The Giants' best bet for another win over the Redskins is to do a better job of containing QB Robert Griffin III in the pocket.
Giants at Redskins -- Week 13