The New York Giants (7-6) meet the Washington Redskins (4-9) Sunday at MetLife Stadium, with the Giants looking to keep control of the NFC East and avenge a season-opening loss to Washington. Here are my 'Five Things To Watch' on Sunday.
1. The Giants Secondary -- Can the Giants -- finally -- get whatever communication/assignment issues have had all season solved? The Giants are 30th in overall defense and only five teams have surrendered more than the 349 points the Giants have allowed. After listening to all of the back-and-forth all week about who was to blame, or not to blame, and the vague answers from defensive coordinator Perry Fewell it's difficult to feel confident the Giants can straighten this out now.
2. The Treatment of JPP -- I think you can feel reasonably certain that the Redskins won't do what Dallas tried to do, which was block Jason Pierre-Paul with one player. He is likely to get the star treatment -- double teams, chip blocks, etc. -- from opposing teams the rest of the way. He has earned it.
3. The Giants Running Game -- Lots of improvement in this area the past two weeks as the re-shuffled offensive line is opening some holes and Brandon Jacobs seems to be running with authority. Can they keep it up? And, will the Giants continue to lean on Jacobs, or will Ahmad Bradshaw end up with the bulk of the work? If it's me I keep riding the horse who has been getting it done, and that means staying with Jacobs.
4. The Play Of Rex Grossman -- Inadequate quarterback play has been the biggest thing holding the Redskins back this season. Grossman has 12 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions this season, leading to a 71.8 passer rating. Unfortunately, against the Giants he has looked like Aaron Rodgers. He threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns earlier this season, and in the 2010 season finale he passed for 336 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants need to make Grossman look like, well, Grossman.
5. Can The Giants Slow Roy Helu? The rookie running back has taken off for Washington the past three weeks, gaining 108, 100 and 126 yards in his past three games. Part of making Grossman look like Grossman is taking away his running game, which means stopping Helu's string of 100-yard games.
NFC East Standings