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2016 Week 17 - Giants @ Redskins

Blognosticator - Miles Monroe

So, as I sit here, a scene from a Little Rascals episode comes to mind… the carrot dangling from a string urging a horse on. That’s our Redskins, and our carrot is a wild card spot. With Dallas putting the screws to Detroit, win and we’re in…… and no, don’t bring up a tie between Green Bay and Detroit, it’s not happening. I’ve been seeing a mixed bag of opinion around the net…. Why sneak in only to be a speed bump for another team. Of course, there’s just as many fans saying just get in, and see where it takes us. I like to view it not as other teams helping us get in, but as other teams not helping themselves get in. Our fate is in our own hands for what it’s worth, and you really can’t ask for much more than that. It begins with a win….

I’m all for getting in any way possible, and it’s for more than the chance to advance I’m looking at. For one, this is a chance for the Skins to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke. We heard a lot of the week division and easy schedule stuff last year. Like last season, we had our fair share of adversity again, and we’ve managed to be in position to make the playoffs with a couple of differences. You’d be hard pressed to find a Redskins fan who expected Dallas and NY to be as good as they have turned out to be this season. Even Philly has actually played well enough to be in close games on more than a few occasions, so, we had to play in a much tougher division this season, and with a tougher schedule. Making the playoffs for a second season is a sign of forward progress.

That brings us to the final game of the regular season…. THE NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS ! When I saw this one on the schedule, I just knew deep down inside, this game was going to have playoff implications . Many of us said the Giants were mortgaging the future with the huge signings on defense, and I’m guessing that many, deep down inside wish we had done the same. Yet, when it’s counted most, our D as shoddy as it is, has made crucial stops enough times this season to get us in a position to advance. We all know the keys for defense to win this one. Getting pressure on Eli, and limiting OBJ. Yes, stopping the run factors in a great deal, but pressure in Eli’s face throws off their entire passing game. Beckham has great success with the short crossing routs, and the one place you normally won’t see Norman covering him, so the backers and safeties have to be on their game. Throw off the timing with a consistent push up front, and with as opportunistic as our secondary has been, we should be able to produce a take away or two. We know Eli has it in him when the pressure is on, and if it takes playing man, and blitzing all night, we can’t give Eli a clean pocket. He’ll eat us alive.

I’m not very concerned about the offense… I think. The average Joe would figure that Coach Gruden would have these guys fired up, and ready to rip the Giants apart. More often than not, this team has come out flat on offense for important games, and that’s more than a bit troubling. We’ve seen this team score a lot of points this season. Enough to keep pace with most teams if the D does just an average job. If the offense shows up firing on all cylinders Sunday, I think we win this one. We need to set the tone on our first possession, and score. My head might actually explode if we win the toss, and give Eli the ball to start. Any fan with a pulse, and slightly coherent knows we don’t win without running the ball 20 times or more. I’m still not sure the coaching staff understands that yet, and if they don’t after last week, we’re in trouble. We get away from the run, and the Giants will turn up the heat on Cousins, and that generally doesn’t go well for us. Fat Rob could do a number on the Giants, but he’s hurting a bit. I have faith that Brown can fill in nicely if Kelly can’t go. That will also give Thompson more opportunities, and that’s never a bad thing from where I’m sitting. I really can’t remember the last time the Redskins have been deep at running back and receiver, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Even with Reed out, this team can be very effective moving the ball. I’m very confident in our receivers, and expect Garcon and Crowder to have a huge day, and the rest of the receivers fill in the blanks nicely. This offense can beat anybody when there in tune passing, and running the ball consistently, yet the question of which offense will show up looms large. It’s one thing to play your butt off in a shoot out and lose, and another to come out with a lack of focus and urgency and get your butt handed to you.

In the end, you know the drill. Throw out the records and how the teams match up. When these two teams play, anything can happen. The Giants should be fired up, and salivating over the thought of playing spoiler. As for the Redskins, I expect them to come out fired up and ready to play. At home with the season on the line, we win a close one…

Redskins 27 Giants 20
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