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Keys to victory for Giants vs. Redskins


1) Stop the run. Or do the best you can. Washington's No. 1 rush offense held true to form in its first meeting with the Giants, totaling 248 yards on the ground that day. On 38 attempts, they also picked up 11 rushing first downs, compared to the Giants' four. New York will have to find a way to bring down rookie Alfred Morris, the fifth leading rusher in the NFL. It's not all about Robert Griffin III.

2) With that said, contain RGIII. By now, the Giants have had plenty of game experience against elusive quarterbacks. They're also the first to face Griffin for the second time. Learn from it.

3) Take shots. The Redskins rank 31st against the pass, giving up more than 300 yards per game. Put that to the test.

4) Discipline. From the triple option to running reverses, Mike Shanahan's offense is equipped with many gadgets. Focus and discipline will be key, especially on the back end. Just when defenders are thinking run, Griffin can sling it as accurately as anyone.

5) Win the turnover battle. In their first meeting, the Giants sealed the victory over Washington by forcing and recovering a fumble in the closing seconds. They had four takeaways (compared to two turnovers), which made up for the yards they allowed. However, Washington is second in the NFC at plus-12 overall; the Giants are tied for first at plus-13.

6) See what Wilson can do. First-round draft choice David Wilson moves up a spot after the injury to Andre Brown. He had 11 plays go his way last week, and it might be time for more. It will be tough sledding, however, against the No. 3 run defense, while pass protection is always a high priority.

7) Quick start. The Giants set the tone early last week by marching down the field on the first possession. Dink and dunk if you have to. Get the chains moving.

8) Get Nicks and Cruz going. The first two passing plays of the last week's game were to Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, respectively. No matter how short or long, get them going to find a rhythm.

9) Be special. The Giants locked up their coverage units last week after giving up a few big returns the previous weeks. But there were a few close calls in their own return game against the Packers. Meanwhile, the Redskins coverage teams are fifth in punt and 11th in kickoffs.

10) Mix it up. To counteract the Redskins' gadgets, the Giants have their own wrinkles on defense, as evidenced last week against the Packers. They'll need to do the same against the Redskins, who now have wide receiver Pierre Garcon back in action. Garcon, who had a 59-yard touchdown on Thanksgiving against Dallas, did not play the first time around against the Giants due to his toe injury.


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