NFL Week 13: Redskins-Giants preview

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Keys to victory

1 Know the reads » The Redskins have done a good job vs. Giants quarterback Eli Manning over the years (career passer rating of 73.0 vs. them) because they have a good handle on where he's going with his passes. Well, most of the time, as anyone who saw the end of the first game knows (he hurt them on third downs, too). But because of their knowledge, the Redskins do a good job of causing Manning to hesitate at times and create turnovers.

2 Keep 'em guessing » The Giants did not handle the zone-read option game well last time. Even when they thought they knew what was coming, they often were wrong. There's no reason to shelve it in the rematch. New York's defense finally started to pressure the quarterback last week, but the best way to slow it down is to keep it guessing. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has done that to most teams this season.

3 Win the big play battle » The Redskins will give up big plays, so the offense has to make sure those plays don't hurt them in the end. Pierre Garcon did not play in the first game, and his presence makes a tremendous difference; keep in mind that Giants cornerback Corey Webster has struggled. The Redskins had opportunities for more big plays in the first game and failed because of penalties and missed chances in the passing game. Turnovers didn't help either.

Key matchups

LT Trent Williams

The athletic ends make this a difficult line to face when you're hurt.

vs.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul

He leads the Giants with 6? sacks; Osi Umenyiora will play here, too.

CB Josh Wilson

He has allowed too many big plays but needs better help from the safeties.

vs.

WR Victor Cruz

The Redskins need to remember he will go long on occasion.

LG Kory Lichtensteiger

He and the line did a good job in the first meeting; the interior pass rush is solid.

vs.

DT Chris Canty

He was OK in the October meeting, but it was his first game back after an injury.

State of the teams

New York Giants

New York enters re-energized after a blowout win over Green Bay. The Giants have a chance to all but clinch first place in the NFC East with a win. When the Giants are playing their best, they're difficult to beat, evidenced by blowout wins over San Francisco and Green Bay.

Washington Redskins

Washington continues to gain confidence, largely because of Robert Griffin III. The defense remains an issue, but Griffin's presence -- and the ability to hit the big play -- lets the Redskins know they're in every game. This is their first meaningful December game since 2008, which adds to the excitement surrounding the game.

Examiner predicts

It's hard to play better than Robert Griffin III has the past two weeks. And it's tough to sustain that level of play. With this defense, he has to.

Giants 28, Redskins 27

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner