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Place: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Robert Griffin III has been as impressive over his first six weeks as any rookie quarterback ever has, carrying the Washington Redskins to a .500 record despite a defense that ranks last in the NFL against the pass.
What Griffin has yet to contend with is an NFC East opponent. That all changes in Week 7 when Eli Manning and the New York Giants take aim at Washington’s suspect secondary. The Giants rose out of the mediocrity to claim the top spot in the NFC East last week with a dominating performance at San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Griffin used his arms and his legs to lead the Redskins to a win over Minnesota. Griffin, who suffered a concussion against Atlanta in Week 5, could spend a lot of time outside the pocket against the New York pass rush, exposing himself to more hits.
Washington Redskins (3-3): Rookies Albert Morris and Griffin have Washington ranked No. 2 in the NFL in rushing, averaging 166.0 yards. The Redskins might need to use that rushing attack heavily on Sunday, if only to keep Manning and the New York offense off the field. Washington ranks last in the league in pass defense, getting shredded for 328.3 yards through the air.
The high-scoring games have provided plenty of chances for comebacks and highlights from Griffin, who totaled three touchdowns while passing for 182 yards and rushing for 138 in a 38-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday. His 76-yard scramble for a score was the longest run for a touchdown by a quarterback in 16 years. The Redskins have yet to hold an opponent under 22 points, however, and lost safety Jordan Pugh to a concussion in the fourth quarter last week.
New York Giants (4-2): New York won the Super Bowl last season but lost twice to the Redskins. The 23-10 setback at home on Dec. 18 was the final loss of the 2011 campaign. Manning was tormented in both contests, failing to throw for a touchdown while being picked off a total of four times.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP was limited to 193 yards at San Francisco last week but did not turn the ball over while leaning on the rushing game and the defense. The Giants intercepted Alex Smith three times and brought him down for six sacks. The offensive line kept Manning clean against the 49ers and is slowly working David Diehl back into the rotation.
Diehl (knee) was active for the first time in three weeks against San Francisco but appeared only as an extra blocker with the jumbo package.
1. Griffin made 68.2 percent (15 of 22) of his pass attempts off play action against the Vikings. He completed 11 of those 15.
2. Giants DT Chris Canty, who spent the first six weeks on the physically unable to perform list, has been activated and is expected to play Sunday.
3. New York DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DE Osi Umenyiora have combined for 10 sacks in the last four meetings with Washington.