By Kevin Ross II
The Washington Redskins find themselves at the gates of the playoffs with one massive Giant trying to keep them out. And unfortunately for Washington, that Giant from New York has consistently placed a dagger in their hearts throughout the last last several seasons. With everything on the line as Washington faces a must-win to make the playoffs, this is the place to be for a breakdown of the New York football Giants.
Giants Record: 10-5
The Giants are firmly entrenched in second place in the NFC East, and they are locked into the first Wild Card position. This means that the result of the Week 17 contest against the Redskins means nothing for New York’s playoff positioning. The speculation is growing at a rapid pace as many question how head coach Ben McAdoo will treat this game. Will the Giants play Eli Manning and their other big name starters? Or will this be treated as essentially a fourth preseason game? Will the Giants play it somewhere in the middle?
Giants On Offense:
New York has struggled on offense this year and ranks in the bottom half of the league in many key statistical categories. The most telling statistic is that the Giants rank 25th in the NFL in points scored. Simply put, this unit has a hard time putting the ball in the end zone. They depend heavily and almost exclusively on the arm of Eli Manning. Their run game is non-existent and the ball-club actually ranks 29th in rushing.
To add some perspective, the Redskins have been harshly criticized for not rushing the ball enough, and Washington ranks 15 spots ahead of New York. The key to defeating the Giants offense centers around applying pressure to Manning, who seems to always be throwing the ball. This inherently leads to the QB throwing the interceptions that have plagued him throughout his career.
Giants On Defense:
New York has quietly become a sleeper pick to advance to the Super Bowl. Those who hold this line of thinking point to the fact that defense wins in the playoffs and defense wins championships. The Giants are arguably playing some of the best defense of any unit in the league—the most telling statistic being points allowed. Currently, New York ranks third in the NFL in points allowed per game. The only team in the NFC ranked ahead of New York’s defense in points allowed is Seattle, and without question, the Giants unit is playing at a higher level than the Seahawks entering the playoffs.
Player To Watch:
Eli Manning is the player to watch in this contest. His availability is key to the Giants winning this game. New York may opt to rest Manning and not risk injury as this game means nothing to the Giants. If Manning does not play, there is essentially no way that New York’s offense led by quarterback Josh Johnson can keep up with Washington’s high-powered offense.
Outcome: Washington Wins
After seeing the devastating injuries that happened over the weekend to Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota, one would think that the prudent thing to do would be to sit Manning. This should give Washington the advantage over New York.