The NFC playoff race is getting tighter, and the New York Giants are in the thick of it.
Coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Dallas Cowboys in a Thanksgiving matinee that had the most viewers for an NFL regular season game on record, New York has another big divisional game against the red-hot Washington Commanders this upcoming Sunday.
The Giants (7-4) and Commanders (7-5) would both be in the NFC playoffs if the season ended today, with both teams holding the final two Wild Card spots.
The two teams have been on polar opposite trends since the start of the season. The Giants have lost three of their last four games after starting the season 6-1, with the highlight of their struggles being the decimation of their roster due to piling injuries of late, including losing rookie WR Wan’Dale Robinson for the remainder of the season to a torn ACL.
On the other hand, the Commanders have won six of their last seven games after starting the season 1-4, with this recent hot stretch being mostly under the helm on unsung Washington hero Quarterback Taylor Heineke.
This upcoming game is one of two matchups the Giants will have against the Commanders in the next few weeks, and with this sudden resurgence of Washington, New York now will be playing in their biggest game of the season to thwart a Commanders team that is riding hot. The Giants are currently 2.5-point underdogs in the matchup.
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The Giants have to play better offensively against Washington
After scoring 13 points in the first half on Thanksgiving against Dallas, the Giants’ offense was completely silenced in the second half, failing to score any points until getting a Touchdown reception to Richie James with eight seconds left in the game, but by then the game was all but over.
The Giants need to pounce on a Washington defense that has excelled at stopping the run of late, as Washington’s opponents have averaged just 68.8 rush YPG and 3.5 yards per carry over their last five games.
With the possibility of Commanders edge rusher Chase Young returning for this game, this is not good news for running back Saquon Barkley. New York will have to rely on the passing game more this game with a depleted receiving core.
Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones spoke optimistically about his team’s chances going forward after Thursday’s loss.
“We’ve got a really good opportunity going forward. We know that we have some big games down the stretch, and we put ourselves in a good position. We’ve got to heal up and take advantage of this long week and get back and learn what we’ve got to learn off this film. We’re still confident. We’re 7-4. We’ve got a lot still to accomplish.”Daniel Jones via Giants.com
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