Only five days until the biggest game of the year for both the Giants and the Redskins. A win for New York guarantees them a playoff berth and a win for the Redskins keeps their postseason dreams alive. On that note, let’s compare the two teams’ offenses:
The Redskins will be without Jason Campbell after injuring his knee last week against Chicago. Washington will turn to Todd Collins. Collins was 15/20 with 224 yds, 2 TD, and 0 INT in his time against the Bears in Week 14, and is no pushover. The Redskins do have a nice pass rush and will protect Collins well, but the fact of the matter is that the Giants’ defense has come A LONG way since Week 3 when they last faced Washington, and Collins could be in for a long day.
Eli Manning has played well under constant scrutiny his entire career and even more so the previous two weeks after his play against Minnesota. Plaxico Burress finally appears to be healthy, playing the way he was at the beginning of the season as he carried the Giants on his back against the Eagles in Week 14. Amani Toomer has been a great option for Eli, but it would be nice to see Jeremy Shockey get more involved in the offense. With Jacobs’ return to the lineup and his shaky play (two fumbles) against Philly, expect the G-Men to put it in the air a lot of Sunday.
The Giants were unable to contain Brian Westbrook last Sunday and they need to do a better job against Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts this week and make Washington use Collins. The Redskins have had some trouble on the ground at the goal line and the Giants have been doing a great job of holding their opponents to field goals. If New York can prevent Washington from making big plays on the ground, Washington could be in for a long day with Collins getting a look at the Giants relentless pressure.
Brandon Jacobs needs to make up for his effort last week and prevent turnovers. Washington was able to hold the Bears to 60 rushing yards last week, and though I like to think that the Giants are a better offensive team than the Bears, it appears as though Coughlin and Co. will pick their spots carefully on the ground. The Redskins tend to give up points late in games, possibly from defensive fatigue, so if they can keep Jacobs and Reuben Droughns fresh, and keep the Skins’ defense from making stops, Eli will have more time to hit the open man.
Tomorrow a look at the defenses.