That was quite the wait between games, which enhanced the buildup for the Monday night Redskins-Giants clash. Finally, it’s here.
It’s not quite a game for first place in the NFC East, but for all intents and purposes, the Redskins’ division title hopes ride on this one. Washington doesn’t have to win out to make the playoffs, but it would be virtually impossible to catch the Giants, who’d be 8-4 with a win, from three games back. If the Redskins fall to 5-7, playoff hopes are faint and this season goes back to being about developing some complementary pieces to surround the franchise quarterback. A win, however, may open the door to semi-rational dreams of an RGIII-fueled playoff run.
Before I turn it over to ask you all what you’re most anticipating about tonight, and to ask for your predictions in the comments, I polled a few friends and co-workers for areas to focus on.
Personally, I’m interested in seeing how Jim Haslett’s defense attacks Eli Manning and the Giants. Do you go after Eli and risk getting burned? Do you back off in coverage and try not to get picked apart? Ideally, you mix in some perfectly timed blitzes with a day of great coverage. The Giants had been struggling to run the ball, but are coming off a 147-yard game against the Packers in which RB Andre Brown went out for the season. I wonder if the Redskins can make the Giants one-dimensional — although forcing Eli to beat you sometimes gets you beat.
Co-worker Mitch Rubin told me he’s “looking forward to RGIII vs. the Giants’ pass rush against since I think both sides in this battle have improved since they last met.” Missy Rosenberg said she’d “be interested in watching how the Giants’ defense does with a second shot at RGIII and how RGIII fares facing a team for a second time. It will be interesting to see who makes the bigger adjustments.”
I got my friend and outspoken Giants fan Kunal Shah to give me a full-on prediction: “The RGIIIs have been an absolute steamroller lately. The QB is on fire, and is making some incredible throws. Unfortunately for the Redskins, he doesn’t play defense. The Giants have a healthy Hakeem Nicks to go along with ‘rocket scientist’ Victor Cruz, and SB champ Eli Manning. That will be too much for Washington to overcome against an opportunistic defense (+13 turnover differential), as DeAngelo Hall will once again lament a lost game that he, of course, should have won. Giants 31, Redskins 17.”
On top of that, I’ve heard more than one non-Redskins fan say they’re looking forward to a Giants win to shut down the building Redskins fan enthusiasm. You can take it as an insult, but if your glee is too much for others to bear, times must be good. Can the Redskins keep the good times rolling tonight?
Is the fact that the Redskins even have a big game in December enough to look forward to? What other specific aspects of the game are you anticipating, and what do you think the keys will be?
And finally, leave your fellow Insider readers a prediction in the comments. Bonus props for predictions that are unique, funny or well explained. But even just a short ‘Who ya got?’ and a score will do.
Monday Night Football at FedEx that means something. Bask in it. Enjoy.