8:30 PM ET, December 1, 2013
FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Times are tough for the last two champions of the NFC East.
These teams met last December in a prime-time showdown that Washington won 17-16 en route to its first NFC East crown since 1999. New York finished one game back with a 9-7 mark -- its eighth straight season with at least a .500 record after capturing the Super Bowl in its previous campaign.
Twelve months later, the mood is very different for both.
"Everybody's got a lot of pride in the NFL regardless of what your record is," Washington coach Mike Shanahan said. "Everybody wants to win and I'm sure the Giants feel the same way."
It's unlikely that either of these clubs will catch Dallas and Philadelphia in the East.
New York (4-7) will try to move on after its postseason hopes were dealt a potentially fatal blow in last Sunday's 24-21 home defeat to the Cowboys, who swept both games from the Giants.
"I think that's something that we have to deal with a lot of times in this league," safety Antrel Rolle said. "The pages have been turned. We're already looking forward to playing a game and getting the preparation in for this week."
The Giants will get their first 2013 look at the embattled Robert Griffin III, who is clearly not the same player from a year ago. Griffin rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie but has gained 367 yards on the ground and has yet to reach the end zone after offseason reconstructive surgery on his right knee.
"We had a dual threat. Now that threat is not quite there as strong as it was a year ago," Shanahan said. "But now we go to a different direction. We run play-action, we still run some of the zone-reads."
Making matters worse, Griffin seems to be involved in a controversy every week while also clashing with the demanding Shanahan at times. The quarterback was said to have failed to have taken the complete blame for a late interception in a 24-16 loss to the Eagles on Nov. 17, and then drew attention for having his father visit him in the locker room following Monday night's 27-6 home loss to San Francisco.
Robert Griffin Jr.'s appearance was noteworthy because he has been vocal about his son's role in the Redskins offense, saying in the spring that he wants his son throwing more and running less. It came after RG3 threw for a season-low 118 yards while he was sacked a career-worst six times.
"Yeah, I was a little shocked that he was there, but he meant no harm," Griffin said. "And anybody out there that's going after my dad needs to back up. That is my father. I will protect my family. He served 21 years in the military -- I know that's not an excuse for anything that he does -- but he's not overstepping any bounds, so I hope people respect that and back off."
Griffin had a 105.9 passer rating against New York in last season's series split. He threw for three scores and ran for 161 yards on 14 attempts.
He may not have to worry much about a once-feared Giants pass rush that has produced 18 sacks for the NFL's second-lowest total ahead of only Jacksonville.
Griffin's Redskins (3-8) were held to a season-low 190 yards of total offense Monday.
Their defense has yielded 37 touchdowns to match Minnesota for the league's highest total but could be buoyed by an injury-plagued Giants' unit coming to town.
New York lost center Jim Cordle for the season and will field a new starting combination on the line in front of quarterback Eli Manning for the sixth time. Kevin Boothe moves to center while third-year pro James Brewer will take over for Boothe at left guard.
Manning is enduring a horrific season with a 72.5 passer rating -- his worst since his rookie year. The Giants have committed a league-high 30 turnovers, including 17 interceptions by the two-time Super Bowl MVP.
The Giants have also started six different running backs.
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who missed last Sunday's game with an abdominal injury, practiced fully Friday and is probable. He has failed to reach the end zone this year while Victor Cruz has gone a career-worst seven games in a row without scoring.
One Washington player enjoying a strong year is Alfred Morris, third in the NFL with 970 rushing yards. Morris had 224 yards on the ground last season as a rookie versus New York.
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|Avg Points Allowed||24.8||30.2|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||NYG|
|Rush Yds Allowed||NYG|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|NY Giants leads 18-8|
|Dec 3, 2012||NYG 16, @WSH 17|
|Oct 21, 2012||NYG 27, WSH 23|
|Dec 18, 2011||NYG 10, WSH 23|
|Sep 11, 2011||NYG 14, @WSH 28|
|Jan 2, 2011||NYG 17, @WSH 14|
|Dec 5, 2010||NYG 31, WSH 7|
|Dec 21, 2009||NYG 45, @WSH 12|
|Sep 13, 2009||NYG 23, WSH 17|
|Nov 30, 2008||NYG 23, @WSH 7|
|Sep 4, 2008||NYG 16, WSH 7|
|Dec 16, 2007||NYG 10, WSH 22|
|Sep 23, 2007||NYG 24, @WSH 17|
|Dec 30, 2006||NYG 34, @WSH 28|
|Oct 8, 2006||NYG 19, WSH 3|
|Dec 24, 2005||NYG 20, @WSH 35|
|Oct 30, 2005||NYG 36, WSH 0|
|Dec 5, 2004||NYG 7, @WSH 31|
|Sep 19, 2004||NYG 20, WSH 14|
|Dec 7, 2003||NYG 7, WSH 20|
|Sep 21, 2003||NYG 24, @WSH 21|
|Dec 8, 2002||NYG 27, @WSH 21|
|Nov 17, 2002||NYG 19, WSH 17|
|Oct 28, 2001||NYG 21, @WSH 35|
|Oct 7, 2001||NYG 23, WSH 9|
The Giants turned things around in the 2nd half, and it started where it always does... With their defense.[+]
Big Blue Turnaround - Giants Defense Sunday at Redskins
The Giants had more success when sending four or fewer pass rushers in the second half despite doing so less than they had in the first half. Robert Griffin was sacked three times and could not scramble in the second half against standard pressure. He had three scrambles for 34 yards in the first half against such pressure. - Justin Tuck had two of his four sacks as part of a four-man pass rush. Coming into the game, Tuck had 1.5 sacks from a standard pass rush. - The Giants sent a defensive back blitz on six dropbacks in the second half, sacking Griffin twice. They only blitzed a defensive back once in the first half.[+]
Robert Griffin III Facing Four or Fewer Pass Rushers, Sunday
Robert Griffin III completed 94.1 pct of his passes in the 1st half tonight vs Giants (went 16-17), the best comp pct in the 1st half in his career (previous high: 88.9 pct vs Eagles in Week 11 of 2012). The last player to record a higher comp pct in the 1st half (min. 10 attempts): Tony Romo vs Bills in Week 10 of 2011.
Eli Manning completed all five of his play-action passes Sunday for 80 yards and his only touchdown. His 16.0 yards per attempt on such passes is his highest in a game in the last two seasons. Coming into the game, Manning had a 42 Total QBR on play action this season, 30th in the NFL.[+]
Eli Manning Play Action, 2013
ESPN Stats & Information