Every week during the regular season, I will be breaking down each Jet and Giant match-up. This week, we are going to start with the Giants who start in the Nation’s Capital on September 11th. Can anyone name a team that has dealt with more injuries than the Giants this off-season? I sure can’t. Heading the M*A*S*H unit is Osi Umeniyora, who is doubtful to play. 

Luckily for the Giants, the Redskins named Rex Grossman their Week 1 starter. Good ole noodle arm completed just 55% of his passes in the pre-season and accumulated a 1-2 record the Washington starter last year. Eli Manning has been playing worse this pre-season, completing just 50% of his passes with no TDs. 

Three things stand out to me when I analyze this match-up and why I see a Giant win coming on Sunday afternoon.

The Giants MUST Account for Mr. Hightower

1. Destroy Washington with the Run!: The Giants won both games against the Redskins last season. In their Week 13 tilt, the Giants abused the lines for 187 yards and 4 TDs on the ground en route to a 31-7 victory. In their Week 17 tilt in Washington, the Giants only ran for 82 yards. The Giants only won that game because the Redskins gave the ball away four times. 

Bottom line, Ahmad Bradshaw is ready to go and Brandon Jacobs looks completely rejuvenated. Tom Coughlin needs to get both players at least 15 touches and wear down that Redskin front seven. If the Giants are successful on the ground, they’ll easily win this game. 

2. Stop Rex? Believe it or not, Rex Grossman threw for 336 yards against the Giants in Week 17. With both Prince and Tyrell Thomas out, the secondary is a little short. If Grossman comes out and lights up the Giants secondary, what could Tony Romo or Michael Vick do to it? This is a best test to see what this secondary unit is made of.

3. Contain Tim Hightower: Mike Shanahan loves his running backs. He made an interesting trade in the off-season, grabbing Tim Hightower from Arizona for a sixth rounder. Hightower is slated to be the primary back after posting a year good pre-season(25 carries, 170 yards, 3 TDs). Hightower isn’t a burner, but he’s a very good dual threat option. The Giants linebacking core must step up and be aggressive from the start.

This game will be dictated by how well the Giants run the football. If they come out with an attitude and establish the run early, they should roll. If they don’t, they will start 0-1 and have to endure criticism of being beat by Rex Grossman. Eli needs to stop thinking so much and just start chucking the ball. Outside of Dallas, Eli may have the best 1-2 receiver combination in the league. He needs to be confident in that and use it. 

Prediction: 

Giants 24 Redskins 21