Disappointing season for Skins, Giants
The Giants and Redskins have both dealt with a lot of injuries and distractions that have led to disappointing seasons.
For the Redskins, their offense has been devastated by injuries. They are essentially fielding a replacement team. They have a lot of heart and play hard, but just don't have the talent to compete. It's a little better on defense where their front seven has been dominant. On the defensive line, Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo have had excellent seasons, and LB London Fletcher is a tackling machine who seems headed to his first Pro Bowl. That's about it, though, as their DBs have let down the team and their safeties struggle greatly when they have to cover opposing receivers.
The biggest question entering the season for the Giants was whether their young WRs would mature and contribute after the loss of Plaxico Burress. The answer was a resounding yes as Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham have stepped up their play and become weapons. But the power run game, the base of coach Tom Coughlin's philosophy, has not been there. I'm used to seeing the Giants' offensive linemen make initial contact and then slide to the second level to get to linebackers and safeties. But not this year. QB Eli Manning's play-action game has suffered because defenses don't fear the Giants' run attack. The defensive line also has underperformed, and going into the season I had that unit pegged as a strength.
Still, I expect a pretty good battle from these two old NFC East rivals. You can always improve and learn things in a game. And it's always nice to beat the bad guys.