By Michael Stewart
Introduction: The New York Giants season will come to an end after this Sunday’s meeting with the Washington Redskins at Met Life Stadium. The Redskins won the first meeting between the two teams by a score of 20-10 behind the arm of quarterback Kirk Cousins. Offensively, the Redskins are ranked 16th (22.1 ppg) and 333.5 ypg. The Giants are ranked 23rd (15.2 ppg) and 309.8 ypg; which is mostly through the air. Defensively, the Redskins are ranked 20th in total yards allowed (354.7) and have surrendered 24.7 ppg; which is 27th in the league. The Giants have struggled for most of the season on defense giving up 384.9 ypg (ranked 30th) and 25.2 ppg; which is ranked 29th in the league. The Giants are 1-6 at home only scoring 15.3 ppg and surrendering 28.4 in those games. The Redskins are 2-5 on the road averaging 20.2 ppg and allowing 28.4 ppg as well. Both teams are out of the playoff hunt, but the Redskins have a chance to reach the .500 mark on Sunday while going for their third straight win. The Giants on the other hand are currently on a five game losing streak and welcome the end of the season.
Top 3 Matchups:
- Giants defense-vs-Redskins defense: Seems strange to have a weakness for both teams as a key matchup, but hear me out. Very similar to their first meeting, both offenses struggled due to both defenses playing well. The Giants defense must outplay the Redskins defense by a wide margin, if they want to win their 3rd and final game of the season.
- Eli Manning-vs-Kirk Cousins: Both teams have struggle on the ground this season and needed to rely more on the passing game for success. This matchup should be no different as I expect both teams (especially the Giants) to struggle on the ground. Manning needs to play equally or better than Cousin and not force the ball into double coverage (like last week).
- Turnovers: Both teams are negative in the turnover department this season Redskins (-2) and the Giants (-5), so something has to give. The Giants only TD in the first meeting was a TD interception by Janoris Jenkins and my gut tells me they will need another TD from the defense to help their chances for a win.
What to look for: The Giants will attempt a balance offensive attack, but will fail in the running game and once again will rely on Manning’s right arm to move the ball. I expect Manning to throw 40+times; which he has done over each of the last two games. On defense, the Giants have been basically horrible most of the season, so I don’t expect to see the 2015 version on Sunday. The Redskins on offense will also rely mostly on their talented quarterback Kirk Cousins to provide enough offense for a win. On defense, the Redskins can play well at times (especially against the Giants). I can see another close battle with both sides struggling to get to move the chains. In the end, the Giants are playing for their jobs in 2018 and possibly Manning’s last game as a Giant. The Redskins are playing for respectability to finish at 8-8. I’m giving the edge to the Redskins here and believe the Giants will not be able to play a full game with high energy and like many games this season; falter in the 2nd half.
Final Score Summary:
Final Score: Redskins 13/Giants 6