Game Scout: Redskins at Giants

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Washington Redskins (3-12) at New York Giants (6-9)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. - TV: FOX
*TV announcers: Dick Stockton, Ronde Barber, Kris Budden
*Keys to the game: With a minus-16 turnover differential, the inability to protect the ball was a death knell for the Giants in 2013. QB Eli Manning is 6-2 at home against the Redskins and completed a season-high 78.6 percent of his passes in New York's 24-17 win at Washington on Dec. 1. If Manning doesn't have to contend with injured LB Brian Orakpo, he'll be able to set his feet and attack the middle of the field where the Redskins are most vulnerable. RB Andre Brown, who has three touchdowns in two games against Washington, will be busy as a runner and receiver. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins, in possibly his final game with the team and in a trade audition, is most effective using play-action. With RB Alfred Morris averaging 4.7 yards per carry this season, Cousins could have many chances to go over the top to WR Pierre Garcon. Garcon has 18 catches for 273 yards and two touchdowns in Cousins' two starts.
*Matchup to watch - Giants S Antrel Rolle vs. Cousins: In the past two games, Rolle has been used at safety, linebacker and as a nickel cornerback -- all quite effectively. Cousins, sacked just twice in two games, gets rid of the ball on time. Correctly identifying Rolle's roll pre-snap is essential.
*Player spotlight - Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan: Orakpo might get more media attention, but Kerrigan is a reliable impact player. Along with Jason Pierre-Paul, Kerrigan is the only player in the NFL with 20 sacks and two interception returns for touchdowns since 2011.
*Fast facts: Manning and Vinny Testaverde are the only quarterbacks in the past 30 years with two 25-interception seasons. ... Washington's seven-game losing streak is the longest since 1998, the year before Dan Snyder purchased the team.
The turnover bug has a hold on Eli Manning, who doesn't have the benefit of an Alfred Morris-caliber runner in the Giants' backfield and can easily be forced to throw into traffic in the game's crucial moments.
*Our pick: Redskins 27-21

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