What: Washington Redskins at New York Giants, today, 1 p.m., East Rutherford, N.J.

TV/Radio: WTTG-5, WBFF-45; WJFK-FM-106.7, WBQB-FM-101.5, WPLC-FM-94.3, WKIK-FM-102.9, WAGE-1200, WNAV-1430, WFMD-930.

Line: Giants by 2 1/2.

THE REDSKINS' KEYS TO VICTORY

1. Protect Brad Johnson.

Linebacker Jessie Armstead will swarm from Johnson's blind side, and defensive end Michael Strahan, right, will charge from the opposite side.

2. Protect the football.

The Giants' defense forced five turnovers against Tampa Bay, two of which led to touchdowns in New York's 17-14 win.

3. Sound special teams play.

Given the Giants' swarming defense, the Redskins need a solid return game for the best possible field position and must convert every field goal opportunity.

WHEN THE REDSKINS HAVE THE BALL

It could be a tough day for the offensive line, which performed well in the Game 1 loss to Dallas. The line's task gets harder against the Giants, whose defense loves to blitz. Wide receivers Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell had career days against Dallas, but face better cornerbacks in Phillippi Sparks and Jeremy Lincoln, expected to fill in with Jason Sehorn and Conrad Hamilton likely sidelined. running back Stephen Davis needs another big game.

Key Matchup

RT Jon Jansen vs. DE Michael Strahan.

Strahan had 15 sacks last season (two in the opener against the Redskins) and has vowed not to be upstaged by the Redskins rookie from Michigan. The Redskins will give Jansen help, likely in the form of a blocking tight end or running back. Strahan is a handful even for two: He's strong enough to wear you down, and smart enough to beat you without brawn.

WHEN THE GIANTS HAVE THE BALL

Facing a New York offense that struggled in the season opener, the Redskins defense has a chance to atone for its fourth-quarter collapse against Dallas. Not since 1960 have the Giants been held to four first downs in a game, as they were in their 17-13 victory over Tampa Bay in Week 1. The defense contributed two touchdowns; the special teams unit added a field goal. Unless the offense gets going, quarterback Kent Graham may be forced to give way to Kerry Collins. The offensive line must do a better job for rookie running back Sean Bennett, held to 24 yards on 13 carries.

Key Matchup

WRs Ike Hilliard and Amani Toomer vs. CBs Darrell Green and Champ Bailey.

The Giants' offense had a miserable showing against Tampa Bay, gaining just 107 yards: 79 passing and 28 rushing. Toomer was the leading receiver, catching four passes for 36 yards. Hilliard, a precise route-runner, had two receptions for 18 yards. Bailey could have a big day, taking an important step in his development.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Redskins simply can't make the kind of mistakes they did against Dallas on special teams and expect to win the game. The unit failed to keep the Cowboys from recovering an onside kick, which signaled the shift in momentum. Then, an errant snap and botched hold with 3 seconds left foiled a field goal attempt that would have won the game. Return specialist Brian Mitchell has been steady. Punter Matt Turk must show he's just as steady.