First of all, Eli Manning is not worth $100 million. Second of all, I hate that New York is the team we struggle the most with in the NFC East. Here are the keys to the game for both teams. I’d make this longer but I’m too jacked for football to be productive today.
The Giants will win if…
- Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw control the tempo of the game. Albert Haynesworth called out Jacobs earlier in the week, and that’s a large man to make angry. If Big Al can’t back up his talk, the Giants could have a big day on the ground. If that happens, the Skins don’t have a shot.
- They rattle Jason Campbell early and often. The offensive line WILL struggle against Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and co., but if it’s before they establish a tempo, they’re in deep.
- They find some receivers. They’re young, but I personally think New York’s receiving corps has some serious potential. Whether or not they show it today is big. If they don’t scare the Redskins secondary, Blache will bring the heat all day long.
The Redskins will win if…
- They force Eli Manning to beat them. Stopping Brandon Jacobs (as mentioned before) is HUGE. I honestly think Eli doesn’t like having to win games, and he doesn’t have any Tyree Miracles, or Plexiglass to save him on the roster this year. That will allow the Redskins to control field position and time of possession.
- Clinton Portis has a big day. Jim Zorn MUST be able to set up play action against such a strong pass rush. The Giants are tops, and you have to keep them guessing. Consequently, the line must gel and be able to consistently get some push up front, which won’t be easy.
- Malcolm Kelly emerges as a viable #2. His size is invaluable, and if he gets hot, we’ll see Cooley catch a lot more balls, which is never a bad thing. If either Kelly or Cooley finds the end zone this afternoon, I like our chances.
In recent years the Giants have been a terrible matchup for us. We finally seem to have added the right parts to put up a bigger fight against them. Whether that turns into a ‘W’ is a big question. Opening up the season in East Rutherford is never easy, and I don’t expect it to be today, but I think they might surprise us a little bit with their competitiveness and tenacity. We MUST hit them in the mouth and send a message. Let’s kick this thing off right.