New York Giants (7-4) AT Washington Redskins (5-6) (Monday, ESPN, 8:30 PM ET)
The Giants (7-4) lead the NFC East by two games over Dallas (5-6) and Washington (5-6) but the Redskins can close the gap when they host New York on Monday night.
The two teams met earlier this season in Week 7 with the Giants winning 27-23. In that game, New York wide receiver Victor Cruz caught the game-winning 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Eli Manning with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter. It marked the longest game-winning TD in the final two minutes of a game in franchise history.
“Washington is a great team and in this division, everybody plays each other tight, so we’ve got to go out there and prepare well and take advantage of the opportunities when they come,” says Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who had a touchdown catch in New York’s 38-10 win over Green Bay in Week 12.
The Redskins have won two in a row – both against NFC East opponents – and have been led by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has thrown eight touchdowns in the past two games and is the only rookie in NFL history with back-to-back games with four passing touchdowns.
“There’s definitely a sense of urgency when you know you cannot stumble,” says Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan. “You’ve got to go out and win each week and it starts with the present game. That mindset has been there. There’s a good sense of urgency that everybody’s got to play their best game and that everybody’s got to do what they’re capable of doing.”
In the team’s past two games, Griffin has completed 34 of 43 passes (79.1 percent) for 511 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception for a 146.1 passer rating.
“When he came back from the bye week, he said, ‘Hey, our backs are against the wall. We know what we’ve got to do and I’m going to play my best football,’” recalls Shanahan about Griffin. “That’s what leaders do. That’s what captains do.”
courtesy NFL Media