NFC East Preview: Giants at Redskins Game of the Year in Division
The NFC East is front and center in Week 13 of the NFL; whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen.
Teams from the East division – which has the fewest wins of any division in the NFC and the second-fewest wins of any division in the league – will square off in the Sunday night NBC game as well as for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
NFC East Division
- Philadelphia (3-8) at Dallas (5-6), Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
- New York Giants (7-4) at Washington (5-6), Monday, 8:30 p.m.
Here are FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR heading into Week 13:
- Which Giants team will show up?
Will the New York team we see on Monday night resemble the one that lost to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in back-to-back games, or will it more closely resemble the team that whipped Green Bay last week?
With a chance to essentially wrap up the division – because a win puts the Giants three games up on Washington and at least two games ahead of Dallas with four games remaining – the Redskins have to be prepared for the very best version of the 2012 Giants.
Everything worked in last week’s surprisingly easy win against the Packers, including a near-flawless Eli Manning (3 TDs, 0 turnovers), a potent running game (147 yards, 2 TDs) and a potent defense (2 TOs and 5 sacks to limit the Pack to its lowest point total since Week 17 of the 2010 season).
Stat of the week: The Giants defense has picked off 18 passes, second-most in the league, and has forced 29 TOs overall. New York will face a team in Washington that has turned the ball over itself just 10 times - with four of those TOs coming in one game, the Giants’ last-minute 27-23 win over the ‘Skins in Week 7.
- Did the Redskins learn anything from the Week 7 loss?
After a back-and-forth game, Washington appeared poised to upset New York at the Meadowlands on Oct. 21. But Eli Manning and Victor Cruz spoiled those plans by hooking up on a 77-yard scoring play with 1:23 remaining in the game.
Had the Redskins held on to win that game, they would have entered Week 8 tied with the Giants at 4-3. Instead, Mike Shanahan’s team lost the next two as well, to drop to 3-6 heading into the bye week. Washington has rebounded to win its past two, but if the ‘Skins miss the postseason, they may look back at that heartbreaking loss to the G-men as the turning point.
Washington’s potent offense, led by rookies Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, showed in Week 7 that it can move the ball against the Giants. What is unclear is if the defense has improved enough to be able to stop Manning, Cruz & Co., especially if the game is close late in the fourth quarter.
The Redskins had their best defensive showing of the year in a Week 11, 31-6, stomping of Philadelphia, holding the Eagles to 257 yards. The D struggled in a 38-31 win against Dallas a week ago, allowing 458 yards (the second-most it has allowed in 2012).
What Washington did well in both games - and what they'll likely need to do against the Giants to pull off a win - is collect turnovers; the Eagles and the Cowboys coughed up the ball a combined 6 times.