The New York Giants (2-0) host the defending NFC East champion Washington Redskins (0-2) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET/FOX). This, of course, is the first of two Odell Beckham-Josh Norman matchups this year, and we know much of the media focus all week will be on the feuding stars.
Let’s take a first look at things to know about Sunday’s matchup.
- The Giants are currently a 4.5-point favorite.
- Eli Manning wants Beckham to “just play football.”
What got Beckham in trouble last season against Norman and the Carolina Panthers was letting his emotions distract him from doing his job on the field, turning the game into a personal battle with the then-Carolina corner. Quarterback Eli Manning wants to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“Just go play football. That’s what the whole team is doing. We have a job to go out there. Everyone is trying to do their assignment and their job at a high level. That goes for him, Victor, me, offensive line. We all have to play at a high level and worry about doing our job,” Manning said.
“He wants to keep this about football. It’s about going out there and doing our jobs. I know he wants to get in the end zone, score and be a big part of this offense. He played well last week and I think he’ll play well again this week.”
- Norman didn’t follow Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, and the Giants bashed him for that. He didn’t follow Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys until the fourth quarter of Week 2. Pro Football Focus, though, rates him as the league’s highest-graded cornerback and adds that his current grade is the highest of his career.
- The Redskins are reportedly already divided in the locker room, sniping about the play of quarterback Kirk Cousins.
- Former Washington linebacker Keenan Robinson, now a member of the Giants, had some not-so-nice things to say about the culture in the Redskins locker room.
- Former Giants defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins is now with Washington. Jenkins played 29 snaps last week against Dallas, with one tackle.
- Washington tight end Jordan Reed had his way with the Giants last season, catching 14 passes in 18 targets for 194 yards. Let’s see if the Giants, with a revamped secondary and linebacking group, can do a better job with Reed.
- The Giants ran the ball well Week 1 vs. Dallas, but struggled to run it effectively in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints. They could have an opportunity to get the running game cranked up this week as the Redskins (124.5 yards allowed per game) are 28th in the NFL vs. the run after two weeks.
- The Giants, for really the first time this season, enter Sunday’s game a bit beat up. Defensive ends Oliver Vernon (hand) and Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) played through injuries last week. Vernon seemed particularly limited and had a quiet game. Rashad Jennings (hand) was in a cast on Tuesday but said he will try to practice on Wednesday. Right tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf) was still in a walking boot on Tuesday, seemingly making it unlikely he would be ready to play vs. Washington. Reserve safety Mykkele Thompson (knee) went on IR.
- A victory Sunday would be the 100th regular-season win of Manning’s career as a starter. When he reaches that mark Manning will become one of only six quarterbacks (Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady, John Elway, Joe Montana and Ben Roethlisberger) in NFL history to have 100 regular season victories and two Super Bowl titles with one team.