Giants RB Tiki Barber vs. Redskins linebackers
Barber, right, is New York's key offensive cog, and, with the passing game struggling, perhaps its only true weapon. Coach Tom Coughlin likes to play it safe and Barber is an elusive runner who rushed for 225 yards in two games against Washington last season. He is shifty enough to squirt through an initial hole, and the Redskins' speedy linebackers will be called on to prevent him from getting into the backfield and breaking a big run. Barber can be deceptive catching passes as well and no doubt the linebackers will be instructed to keep an eye on him at all times. Over-pursuing can be costly and the outside linebackers in particular -- LaVar Arrington and Marcus Washington -- have the athleticism to blanket him. Barber is second in franchise history in rushing yards and leads the Giants in all-purpose yards.
Redskins WR Laveranues Coles vs. Giants CB Will Allen
Coles was not a big part of Washington's win in Week 1, catching three passes for 27 yards. He will be eager to get into the action more today. Washington could not connect on the deep routes against Tampa Bay and will surely look to stretch the defense a bit more while still relying heavily on the run. Coles has big-play potential and Allen is one of the best in the conference at his position. But New York's secondary looked vulnerable in a 31-17 loss to Philadelphia, conceding 313 passing yards in the process. Coach Joe Gibbs loves trickery and Coles, who is used to being the focal point of the attack, could benefit from it this week.