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Redskins-Giants GameDay Preview

12.16.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins

Week 15: Redskins (4-9) @ Giants (7-6)

The Redskins take on the NFC East-leading New York Giants on Sunday, Dec. 18 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.

The Redskins are 1-3 in the NFC East this season. Their lone victory was a 28-14 win over the Giants in Week 1 at FedExField. They subsequently lost to the Dallas Cowboys twice and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Giants are 2-2 in the NFC East, with a 29-16 win at Philadelphia in Week 3 to go along with last Sunday's victory over Dallas. They lost a second matchup to the Eagles.

The Redskins and New York Giants have played each other every year since 1932, with the Giants leading the series 92-63-4 (including postseason).

The two teams have played each other more than any other team in each club's history.

The Redskins defeated the Giants 28-14 in Week 1 of the regular season. Tim Hightower rushed for 72 yards on 25 carries and Rex Grossman completed 21-of-34 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns.

Rookie first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan turned in the play of the game when he intercepted an Eli Manning pass and raced 9 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter. The Redskins' defense shut out the Giants in the second half.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Helu-sive

In last Sunday’s 34-27 loss to New England, the Redskins unveiled a three wide receiver, two running back set. They were able to spread the Patriots’ defense and Roy Helu had success running out of the formation. Look for more of the same against the Giants. Helu has rushed for 100 yards in each of the Redskins’ last three games and has shown great cut-back ability especially on sweeps and pitches. He has provided a boost for the NFL’s 31st-ranked ground game. The Giants are usually tough in run defense, but not this year – they are ranked 22nd in the league against the run. Failure to maintain gap control, poor tackling and youth at inside linebacker have all been contributing factors.

Run-Stoppers Are Us

The Redskins have improved in run defense in recent weeks, no longer yielding big plays on the ground. Since Week 9 vs. San Francisco, the run defense has allowed just 3.4 yards per carry to opposing offenses. The Redskins’ run defense was solid against the Giants in Week 1, yielding 75 yards on 20 carries. The top tacklers that game were Reed Doughty with 10 and London Fletcher with eight. Fletcher currently leads the NFL with 134 tackles. The Giants’ formula for winning six straight games against the Redskins from 2008-10 was a heavy dose of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Last year at MetLife Stadium, they combined for 200 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 34-7 triumph over Washington.

Secondary is Primary

The Redskins’ secondary is ranked 13th in the NFL in pass defense. The unit has not posted a many interceptions – just six by defensive backs this season – but they have been steady in pass coverage.

Look for the Giants to go after Redskins safeties DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty with Jake Ballard, a 6-6, 275-pounder who has 37 catches for 589 yards and four touchdowns. The Giants come into the game with the league's fourth-ranked passing offense. Eli Manning is one of three quarterbacks on pace to break the NFL's single-season mark for passing yards. He has cut down on his interceptions – 25 in 2010 to 12 this year – but he is still susceptible to errant throws when pressured.

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