This week is hugely important for all four teams in the NFC East, as they are pitted against each other in two inter-divisional games tonight. The Eagles play the Cowboys and on Monday Night Football, the Redskins host the reigning champions, the New York Giants.
This week, Monday Night Football is available for UK fans on the BBC HD channel and on the BBC sport website. If you can stay up late enough (it starts at 01:25) or catch it on iPlayer or the BBC sport website, you should see a cracker.
The Redskins will be looking to avenge their week seven defeat to their ‘local’ rivals, when New York overcame Washington 27-23 at the MetLife.
Robert Griffin III has had two consecutive weeks of throwing four touchdown passes, a huge achievement for a rookie, a third consecutive week would seem impossible, but to the Redskins’ QB – impossible is nothing.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning looked good last week against the Packers and is approaching that time of year commonly known as ‘Eli-time’.
The two-time champion is starting to look like the player that has bested the Patriots in two out of two Superbowl appearances, but will he be the same player at FedEx field as the one who showed up last week against the Packers?
In previous weeks I have stated how important defensive play is to the overall result. This week, it will again be important but this game could become a shoot-out between two very good quarterbacks and their high powered offenses.
The Redskins, in the last two weeks, have had play-makers in the wide receiver position to back up the fantastic offensive play of both their franchise quarterback and their diamond-in-the-rough running back Alfred Morris.
Pierre Garçon is starting to look like the player he was in pre-season and the chemistry with Griffin is returning, Santana Moss and Aldrick Robinson are genuine threats and Josh Morgan is surely going to get a touchdown before too long. Morgan leads the team in receptions with 37.
Both sets of defensive backs will be keeping their eyes on the arial threats of their opponent’s quarterbacks. The Redskins will have to watch the long passes to Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, while the Giants will have to watch the screen passes, deep-ball threat and the ability to take off on-the-run of RGIII.
As with the last game between these two sides the pass rush of the Giants will likely play a key role. Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul will look to add to their combined nine and a half sacks, against the Redskins. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph will also hope to make his way to Griffin, to add to his tally of four sacks for the season. Griffin will hope to be sneaky-fast (that’s a Mike Carlson saying but I like it) to keep out of the clutches of the Giants athletic rushers.
Turnovers so often of late have played a big part in games, any fumbles or interceptions thrown in this one could prove to be just as vital. Both teams need to ensure ball security with their running backs and keep the ball out of the hands of those opposing defensive backs.
Neither the Redskins or the Giants can afford for their running backs or QBs to drop the ball. Morris could be set to break 1000 rushing yards this week and will hope to add to his six rushing TDs but can ill afford to add to his two fumbles so far. Giants running backs Ahmad Brooks and Andre Brown have 13 touchdowns between them and though Brooks has fumbled and lost the ball three times, Brown hasn’t fumbled once.
One last note, I had Aaron Rodgers in my fantasy NFL team against the Giants and he was poor, this week I have brought Eli from the bench (yes I have two stud quarterbacks in my fantasy league, for all the good it has done me) lets see if he is equally poor this week.
Do I have some kind of fantasy voodoo? Only time will tell.
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