- Last Updated: 12:03 AM, December 4, 2012
- Posted: 1:15 AM, December 3, 2012
LANDOVER, Md. — A year ago, the Giants snapped out of a four-game losing streak with a rousing victory in Dallas, seemingly righting all of their wrongs and catapulting them forward for a strong stretch run.
Instead, the Giants returned home and sleepwalked through a desultory loss to the Redskins.
“The lesson we got out of that was: When you’re playing a divisional opponent, it doesn’t matter what the records are, or what you’re ranked in the conference, or anything like that,’’ linebacker/defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said. “We’re two teams that have seen each other a lot. We know what each other is capable of, and it’s going to come down to desire more so than the X’s and O’s.’’
Desire should be clearly evident tonight at FedEx Field, where the Giants (7-4) — coming off their 38-10 pasting of the Packers to end a two-game skid — can go a long way in sealing up first place in the NFC East or the Redskins (5-6) can plow into serious playoff contention behind their rookie sensation, Robert Griffin III. It’s a rematch of a 27-23 Giants victory on Oct. 21 that left the Giants defense convinced that in RG3 it had just been introduced to a star. How much he’s grown and how far the Giants have come in figuring out a way to deal with him — they didn’t do so great the first time around — is the major theme of the night.
A look inside the game:
Redskins WR Pierre Garcon vs. Giants CB Corey Webster. Injuries have limited Garcon to only five games, but he’s now healthy and hauled in a 59-yard touchdown pass last week vs. the Cowboys. The former Colts receiver is a classy pass-catcher. Webster has had his ups and downs this season, with last week’s 61-yard TD allowed to Jordy Nelson a definite downer (followed by an interception of Aaron Rodgers). The first time around, the Giants didn’t face Garcon.
“Boy, he’s a heck of a player, isn’t he?’’ defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. “He puts speed on the field for them and he can stretch the field. We’re always aware of him. We won’t change our plan, but we’re always aware of him.’’
High risk, high reward
Eli Manning did not have an especially crisp performance against the Redskins last month, but he still passed for 337 yards. That’s the way it usually goes down for the Washington defense, which is ranked 31st in the league against the pass. The Redskins are great at stopping the run — 89 yards a game — and not-so-great at defending the pass. They have allowed 23 touchdown passes but also have 14 interceptions.Follow @NYPostsports