Another week, another chance for Robert Griffin III to add to the legend he’s already become. Week after week, the Redskins’ rookie quarterback has produced amazing outings, making the impossible seem probable. This week his team will travel to the Big Apple to take on the 2011 Super Bowl champs in what should be a highly intriguing match-up.
Washington wasn’t expected to do much of anything this season, and though they still might not, they sure are fun to watch. Even though it’s solely because of RG3, this Washington team seems rejuvenated compared to years past and with a quarterback as dynamic as him at the helm, upsets are always likely. The ‘Skins sit with a decent 3-3 record and are coming off an impressive victory against an upstart Vikings squad. On the injury front for Washington, key wide receiver Pierre Garcon remains highly doubtful, otherwise it’s status quo for the Redskins. The team suffered key defensive injuries earlier in the season, but has thus far dealt with them admirably.
Meanwhile in New York the Giants are surely still celebrating last week’s beatdown of a pretty solid San Francisco 49ers team. Nobody gave the G-Men much of a shot entering that contest, and to lay the licking that they did on San Francisco was downright impressive. Now comes the hard part however, as Tom Coughlin’s side will need to focus and re-group to prepare for the challenges that RG3 brings to the table. These teams are nowhere close in terms of talent level, but the dynamic nature of the Washington attack could prove problematic for a Giants team with a knack for unmotivated play at times. Linebacker Michael Boley and running back Ahmad Bradshaw are both questionable entering this one, but both players are expected to start Sunday afternoon.
Redskins vs. Giants Spread & Betting Odds:
Washington Redskins +6.5 (-115)
@ New York Giants -6.5 (-105)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Redskins vs. Giants Pick:
Simply put, this is one of the biggest NFC East games the Redskins have played in a long while. Much of that can be attributed to RGIII, who the Giants have no doubt planned for all week. But as he has shown on countless occasions in 2012, the kid is a tough guy to stop. The Redskins are a resilient bunch who have overcome a wealth of key injuries to sit with a .500 record entering this contest. Going against the Giants in New York is never easy, but they’re catching them at an ideal time.
The G-Men must be feeling pretty darn good about themselves right now, and likely a little too good. After pulling out a huge road victory across the country in San Francisco last week, the Giants have been receiving praise from virtually every media outlet in North America. Expect the Giants to get off to their usual slow starts at home that have plagued them of late, and allow Washington to dictate the early stages of the contest.
Washington beat the Giants in both of their games last season, so it’s also clear that head coach Mike Shanahan definitely has a winning formula for beating the defending champions. Much of Washington’s success this season should be attributed to their sideline boss, as he’s allowed Griffin III to showcase his talents within his revamped system. And look for those talents to be on display come Sunday afternoon. For New York to succeed against the Redskins’ attack, they must keep Griffin inside the pocket, a feat few teams have done with consistency. Despite the Giants’ lethal pass rush, Griffin can hurt defenses in a multitude of ways, as his 100.5 QB rating demonstrates.
Look for the Redskins to put severe pressure on New York for the entire game. Washington is ranked second in the league in rushing yards per game, and will test a usually stout front-seven of the Giants. Last week the Giants controlled the game because they weren’t fearful of Alex Smith beating them through the air. This week they won’t have that luxury. Griffin is an adept passer, and elusive runner. He can burn teams in a variety of different ways, and should be able to make solid gains on the New York defense.
This is a very tough spot for New York. Anything can happen in the NFL as it’s a volatile league riddled with unpredictability. After a big win in California against the Niners, it won’t be an easy transition to come home, where they tend to struggle, to take on RG3 and the ‘Skins. Add in the fact they have a huge lookahead game on the horizon for next week when they take on Dallas, and the G-Men may be focused elsewhere. Though they should still squeak out a narrow victory on Sunday, look for Griffin and his team to keep things very tight throughout. A high-scoring slugfest seems about right, likely in the 30-27 range.
PICK = Redskins +6.5 (-115)