Take a quick glance at the tale of the tape for Monday night’s NFC East showdown between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins.
Eli Manning owns a 7-2 record in his last nine starts against Washington. In his only previous Monday night meeting with the Redskins on Dec. 21, 2009, Manning threw three touchdown passes without an interception. Running back Andre Brown suffered a broken leg last week and is out for the remainder of the season. David Wilson should see more playing time in place of Brown, who is second in the NFC with eight rushing touchdowns. Ahmad Bradshaw is listed as probable with a foot issue and should also see some touches in the backfield.
Robert Griffin III performed well in his first career game against the Giants, completing 20 of 28 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns while running for 89 yards on nine carries. Running back Alfred Morris is second among rookies with 982 yards on the ground and leads a rushing attack that ranks second in the
league with an average of 162.9 yards per game.
Back in Week 7, Griffin mastered the Giants defense leading Washington to 480 total yards — the most Big Blue has allowed this season. This time, New York may have to stop him without S Kenny Phillips and possibly DE Jason Pierre-Paul. Phillips is listed as doubtful and Pierre-Paul is listed as questionable after missing practice for a second straight day on Saturday with a back problem.
Washington has buckled under the late-game pressure this season and ranks dead last in fourth-quarter defense, giving up an average of 10.5 points in the final 15 minutes. The Redskins, who allow 11.7 points per first half, have softened for more than two touchdowns in the second half of games. Washington is yielding an average of 301.4 passing yards, the second-worst mark in the NFL.
The Giants have one of the most reliable kickers in the league in Lawrence Tynes, who ranks among the leaders in nearly every statistical category this season. New York has failed to return a kick or punt for a TD this season, but David Wilson has a respectable 25.3 kick return average.
Mike Shanahan recently said he and his coaching staff will “take a hard look,” at struggling punt/kick returner Brandon Banks’ decision making. A year after averaging 9.1 yards per punt return, Banks is averaging 6.8-yards per attempt this season (24th in the NFL), and 24.1 yards per kick return (23rd in the league).
Word on the street
“I’d say that he’s more a down-the-field passer than I think that people expected him to be. He’s got good poise in the pocket and he can also extend the play and look to get the ball down the field, not just the runner that everybody knew that he was coming out.” - Giants LB Mathias Kiwanuka on RG3.
"We had five receivers last week, (in win against Dallas), that played at a different level than they have all year. Five receivers not on the starting roster a year ago...We've played better collectively as a team." – Redskins coach Mike Shanahan on the evolution of his WR corps.