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Washington boasts dangerous ground game at home


Aside from the win-loss columns, the most glaring statistic in the Redskins' home performances is their rushing output.

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Washington, which is 4-1 at FedEx Field and winless in five games away from it, averages 145.8 yards per game on the ground at home. On the road, the number drops by more than 100 yards to 44.8. 

"They play really well at home," linebacker Devon Kennard said. "They play, it seems, even harder at home than they do away. And it's something we've got to be ready for because it's been a positive for them this year."

Like the Giants, the Redskins have used a committee of running backs.

Fourth-year pro Alfred Morris, who ran for at least 1,000 yards in his first three seasons and was a major reason for the Redskins having the No. 1 rushing team in 2012, leads the way with 112 attempts for 404 yards. Rookie Matt Jones is close behind with 90 carries for 332 yards and three touchdowns, and Chris Thompson has chipped in another 25 carries and 184 yards.

All three rushed for at least 50 yards two weeks ago when they had a season-high 209 yards as a team. Of course, that was at home and in a victory over the Saints. Washington followed up by carrying the ball 12 times for 14 yards in Carolina last week.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden was asked today on a conference call with Giants reporters if he had a reason for the discrepancy between home and away.

"No, if there was, I would have put my finger on it already and figured it out," he said. "I think a lot of it has to do with the opponents we've played have been pretty good and they played a heck of a game. In home games, we've come out and we executed better for whatever reason, but it's something we have to address. Luckily, not luckily, we're at home this week and hopefully we play good."

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Meanwhile, the Giants' run defense had its share of highs and lows before the bye week. The defense allowed fewer than 90 yards in five games and more than 100 in the other half.

"I think they're a dangerous team running-wise," Kennard said. "They have three backs that are very good, very capable and an offensive line that can be effective. So we can't let them get that rolling, and it just opens up their whole offense when they can run the ball well. So we definitely have to stop the run game."

The Washington rushing attack was just one of the many topics surrounding the Giants on Wednesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Here are three takeaways from the day:


Hakeem Nicks practiced for the second time today after re-joining the Giants over the bye week. While he gets up to speed after not playing in a meaningful game since January, Nicks is relying on his chemistry with Eli Manning.

"He looks good," Manning said. "He looks like he's running well, grasping the offense. We've just got to be smart and put him in there, make sure he knows what he can do so we can put him out there and play fast. He was running some routes and there are obviously certain routes we've thrown many times and read his body language. I think he's picked up things pretty quickly and hopefully he can come in and help us out."


For the Giants, TE Larry Donnell (neck), LB Mark Herzlich (quad) and LG Justin Pugh (concussion) did not practice. C Weston Richburg (ankle) and LB J.T. Thomas III (ankle) were limited. CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), CB Leon McFadden (groin), DE Damontre Moore (hamstring), RG Geoff Schwartz (ankle) and LB Uani 'Unga (neck) were full-go.

For the Redskins, CB Chris Culliver (shoulder/knee), CB Deshazor Everett (hamstring), DE Jason Hatcher (knee), S Trenton Robinson (hamstring) and OT Trent Williams (knee) did not practice. S Dashon Goldson (knee/hamstring/wrist) and LB Keenan Robinson (shoulder) were limited. CB Bashaud Breeland (hamstring), CB DeAngelo Hall (toe), LB Ryan Kerrigan (hand), NT Terrance Knighton (migraine), C Josh LeRibeus (ankle/shoulder), RB Alfred Morris (rib), WR Andre Roberts (ankle) and G Brandon Scherff (thigh) were full-go.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Giants are thankful for being in first place in the NFC East as they enter the home stretch coming off the bye week.

"It's fun," Manning said. "It feels good to be in these circumstances and feel like you're playing for opportunities to make the playoffs and win your division. I think guys have got to sense that excitement and make sure it shows in our preparation and our play."

Added Coughlin earlier in the day: "It's a lot of fun compared to where we've been the last couple of years."

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