Game Scout: Giants at Redskins

Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

New York Giants (4-7) at Washington Redskins (3-8)
Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET, at FedExField, Landover, Md. - TV: NBC
*TV announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
*Keys to the game: Last week was a punch in the gut for two fledgling teams clinging to faint playoff hopes. Which team can rebound the best mentally to get up for a bitter rivalry game? The issues for the Redskins are many - a read-option quarterback struggling in his development as a drop-back passer and a defense that can't hold coverage minus a pass rush at the top of the list. The Giants allow just 3.7 yards per carry and will focus on negating RB Alfred Morris. QB Robert Griffin III is struggling to read defenses during a traditional dropback, but outside of DT Cullen Jenkins the Giants are also having a difficult time getting any heat on quarterbacks. Giants QB Eli Manning can't count on much from his own ground game and is completing just 56.9 percent of his passes for the season. The Redskins allow an average of 270.6 passing yards per game, so Manning will get his yards. The question will be whether he can avoid turnovers and be efficient in the red zone.
*Matchup to watch - Giants S Antrel Rolle vs. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III: An intriguing cat-and-mouse game between RGIII and the veteran safety who will often play toward the line of scrimmage. Rolle will be a factor in defending the read-option and will also attempt to bait the struggling quarterback into poor reads down the seam.
*Player spotlight - Redskins CB Josh Wilson: Coach Mike Shanahan said Wilson is having a good year while admitting he had a very rough game in Monday night's loss to San Francisco. Wilson doesn't get much help from Washington's pass rush and will once again be a popular target.
*Fast facts: Manning has not thrown a touchdown and has a 69.1 passer rating in 107 pass attempts with the Giants leading this season. ... RG3 has a 57.2 passer rating and 52.9 completion percentage in the first quarter.
The Redskins are unraveling on and off the field, with the future of the coaching staff as big a question as whether Washington will win another game this season. QB Eli Manning takes advantage of the Redskins' lack of a pass rush and porous secondary to lead the Giants to a road win.
*Our pick: Giants 27-23

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