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Friday, November 30, 2012
Updated: December 3, 11:20 AM ET
Giants hope to survive RG3 ... again

By Ohm Youngmisuk
ESPNNewYork.com

Perry Fewell can remember every step and move Robert Griffin III made on a sensational fourth-and-10 scramble and conversion late in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants back in October.

Even though the play was probably etched into Fewell's memory forever from living through it, the defensive coordinator still showed the play to his defense "probably a dozen times" this past week.

On Monday night, Fewell and his defense will see RG3 live again in his Monday Night Football debut.

The Giants are the first defense with the distinction of getting a second crack at RG3.

They'll soon find out if that is a blessing or a curse.

"Well, I hope there's that immediate recall when they look at the tape of our game," Tom Coughlin said of facing Griffin again.

The first time they met, the Giants needed a 77-yard bomb from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz with 1:13 left and a Santana Moss fumble near midfield after that to escape with a 27-23 win over the Redskins on Oct. 21.

During that first encounter with RG3, the Giants found themselves trying to figure out what the elusive rookie was going to do and where the ball was on many of the quarterback's option reads.

"Everything looks the same," defensive end Justin Tuck said of the Redskins offense. "The run and the pass look exactly the same. It makes it very tough to defend because everybody has to be on the same page.

"If one guy is thinking it is a run and another guy thinks it is a pass, automatically no matter what they run there, that is a win for the offense in most situations."

Robert Griffin III
Justin Tuck and the Giants D have a tall order on their hands in wrapping up Robert Griffin III on Monday night.

They also had to adjust to experiencing Griffin's Mach speed live as opposed to just watching it on tape up to that point.

"We already knew going in what type of talent he was, what type of quarterback he was," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "But he proved it in real time the type of athlete and more importantly the type of quarterback that he is."

If the Giants (7-4) can survive the league's most electric rookie for a second time, they'll move one big step closer toward winning a second straight division title.

If the Redskins (5-6) win, they'll keep their season alive and pull to within a game of the Giants in an NFC East that could be up for grabs again.

Washington's season rides on the shoulders of Griffin, who appears to have only gotten better since losing to the Giants.

That loss to the Giants started a three-game losing streak for the Redskins. But since Washington's bye week, the Redskins have won two in a row with Griffin throwing four touchdowns in each game and throwing a total of just nine incompletions.

In those two victories over the Eagles and Cowboys, Griffin passed for a total of 504 yards and helped the Redskins score 31 and 38 points, respectively.

Considering that Griffin completed 20-of-28 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 89 yards against the Giants, the Giants coaches are worried about what the rookie might have in store for an encore.

"Absolutely, he's better," Washington defensive back DeAngelo Hall said. "Just like anybody, you give him 10 problems, then he'll start to get the hang of it. And by the time you give him 10 more, he's going a little faster. Early in the season, he was still trying to figure it out. We feel like now, we've seen a lot more since that."

The Giants will also have to worry about the Redskins' other impressive rookie, running back Alfred Morris, who had 120 yards rushing against the Giants last time.

Fewell will have his hands full trying to stop both Griffin and Morris from gashing his defense. But the Giants also learned the hard way that Griffin's arm is just as dangerous as his legs.

Griffin completed 7-of-11 passes on throws of more than 10 yards downfield against the Giants, according to ESPN Stats and Info. And this time he will have his biggest big-play receiving threat in Pierre Garcon, who missed the first meeting due to injury.

That's one of the reasons why Fewell kept showing that fourth-and-10 play to his players. Griffin eluded Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants' pass rush long enough to find tight end Logan Paulson for a 19-yard gain. That kept the drive alive that allowed the Redskins to go up 23-20 with 1:32 remaining. It showed that the Giants not only have to remain disciplined in trying to contain Griffin from running but also have to stick to the Redskins receivers for as long as they can.

"We've looked at that play probably a dozen times," Fewell said. "You say you plaster your receivers more, and that's a point of emphasis, but then if you plaster your receivers more, he takes off and runs."

"You can cover every receiver and have them locked down," Fewell later added. "And then he can go from 0 to 60 like that and get the first down."

Facing Griffin for a second time could be an advantage now that the Giants have experienced the RG3 effect once before.

But for Tuck, it's an experience he will have to go through twice a year, every year for perhaps a long time.

"Until I exit stage right, it seems like he's going to be a fixture in my dreams," Tuck said. "And nightmares."