(Sports Network) – New York went run-heavy in their first matchup with the Redskins and had great success doing so, with the backfield tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw (1213 rushing yards, 45 receptions, 8 TD) and Brandon Jacobs (774 rushing yards, 8 TD) combining for 200 yards and four touchdowns to key the rout. The duo works behind a veteran line that contains two Pro Bowl nominees in O’Hara and right guard Chris Snee and has provided excellent protection for Manning, who’s been sacked a mere four times over the past eight games. Expect the Giants to rely on the running backs once again this week, as Eli Manning (3759 passing yards, 30 TD, 24 INT) has been plagued by turnover problems and the receiving corps has been decimated by injuries to both Nicks (79 receptions, 1052 yards, 11 TD) and the sure-handed Steve Smith (48 receptions, 3 TD). Mario Manningham (56 receptions, 8 TD), who came through with 132 receiving yards and a long touchdown on four catches against the Packers, becomes the go-to wideout with Nicks sidelined, with special-teamer Derek Hagan (18 receptions, 1 TD) and tight end Kevin Boss (33 receptions, 5 TD) the secondary targets for the NFL’s third-ranked offense (384.0 ypg). The Giants are 7-0 when rushing for over 120 yards this season.
The Washington defense has been a sieve for the majority of this season, but did manage to come through with a pretty sound effort against the Jaguars in spite of missing a host of important pieces, including standout pass rusher Brian Orakpo (52 tackles, 8.5 sacks) and safeties Reed Doughty (89 tackles, 1 sack) and Kareem Moore (64 tackles, 1 INT). The depleted unit was still able to stop the run effectively and generate ample pressure, sacking Jacksonville’s David Garrard four times and inducing a pair of interceptions, including one from backup safety Kevin Barnes (13 tackles, 1 sack) that set up the deciding field goal in overtime. The reserve ranks will need to step up again this week, as Orakpo is questionable to return from his groin injury and both Moore and cornerback Carlos Rogers (54 tackles, 2 INT, 12 PD) won’t play. The Redskins will still have corner DeAngelo Hall (89 tackles, 6 INT, 14 PD), the team’s lone Pro Bowl representative available, as well as veteran tackling machine and esteemed leader London Fletcher (127 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT) manning the middle linebacker spot. Washington ranks 31st in the league against the pass (262.9 ypg) and has been nearly as dreadful in containing the run, standing 25th in that category (130.6 ypg).