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John J. Raspanti
The Washington Redskins (3-3), fresh off an upset victory over the Minnesota Vikings last weekend, travel to New York to face the Super Bowl champion Giants (4-2) in a key NFC East matchup.
Last weekend the Redskins, led by electrifying rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III upset the Minnesota Vikings 38-26. Griffin completed 17 of 22 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 138 yards. His 76-yard gallop, with less than a minute to play, put the game away. For the season, Griffin has completed 70 percent of his passes. The Giants, who made cracks about Griffin earlier in the season, have changed their tune.
"We're going to have our work cut out for us, "defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "I actually stopped by the facility and saw some tape of him and I was just like, 'Wow, this guy's an amazing talent.'
Redskin running back Alfred Morris has rushed for 538 yards in six games. The dangerous Griffin has gained 379 yards. Griffin likes wide receivers Fred Davis (23 catches) and Santana Moss (16 catches, two touchdowns).
The Redskin defense ranks near the bottom of the NFC. Linebacker London Fletcher's 54 tackles are not enough. The unit has been giving up an average of 328 yards through the air.
The Giants went to San Francisco last weekend and manhandled the 49ers 26-3. The loss stunned everyone but New York. Quarterback Eli Manning threw for 193 yards, while running back Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 116. The much-maligned Giant defense sacked 49er quarterback Alex Smith six times.
Manning, and young receiver Victor Cruz, have become quite a combination. The two connected six times against the 49ers. In the third quarter, Cruz hauled in a Manning bullet for a touchdown. Cruz has caught 43 passes for the season. After Cruz, the drop-off in production is significant. Domenik Hixon and Hakeen Nicks have caught 36 passes between them.
Giants safety Antrel Rolle picked up his first interceptions of the season against 49er quarterback Alex Smith. Jason Pierre Paul collected two sacks and now has three and a half for the season. The Giants though are worried about Griffin and his weapons.
"Against a team like this, an offense like this, you have to be very focused on our keys, everybody has to be on the same page," said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck.
The Giants are back home and feeling good about themselves. The team that wins the turnover battle wins this game. The edge has to go to the Giants.
This could be a dangerous spot for the Giants. The flew cross country and back for an emotional game, now have to get up for a division opponent. It has the potential to be a flat spot. So be careful. We have methods that come in on both sides of this one. Our prediction model comes up with a final score of Giants 40 Redskins 24. Yet out tried and true numbers, the ratings we use to make our own line an all games, suggests that the oddmakers nailed this one as we make the Giants TD favorite.
As a result, we'll lean towards the Under in this one. Yes, our prediction model suggests a high scoring game, but historically, when these two divisional rivals meet the game ends up in the 40's and two of the last 3 Redskins games as well as 4 of the Giants 6 games have come in under 50 points. Giants/Redskins Under 51
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