What To Watch For: Three Giants, Redskins Storylines
1. The Spotlight Shines: Playing on a big stage hasn’t been a deterrent to Robert Griffin III, who has played remarkably well as of late. Griffin’s 146.1 quarterback rating over the past two games is the best in league history, and he became the first Redskins quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in consecutive games. He’s also been able to handle the pressure of a big stage, playing well in his debut at New Orleans on Sept. 9, in the first meeting against the New York Giants on the road Oct. 21 and at Dallas on Thanksgiving. If those games are an indication, Griffin’s first “Monday Night Football” appearance could be a treat.
2. Second Coming: The Giants will be the first team to get a second shot at Griffin, removing the element of surprise that the Redskins have used to their advantage all season. Not only did the quarterback achieve success while running the ball in the first meeting, he also completed 20 of 28 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns – including one that could have won the game with 1:32 remaining had Eli Manning not found Victor Cruz on a 77-yard touchdown pass 19 seconds later. Washington should also benefit from having Pierre Garçon, who did not play in the first game because of injury.
3. It Starts Now: For the first time under head coach Mike Shanahan, the Redskins will play a truly meaningful game in December. A victory over the Giants would keep them in the hunt for the NFC East title with four games to play, but a loss would give New York a three-game advantage – an almost insurmountable margin that would leave Washington looking for a wild card berth. The Redskins got a little help in that aspect on Sunday, with Minnesota losing but Seattle defeating Chicago in overtime, and the coaching staff continued to equate this meeting with a playoff game all week.