(Sports Network) – Rex Grossman (548 passing yards, 5 TD, 3 INT) will be making his third straight start in place of the phased-out Donovan McNabb and rewarded Mike Shanahan’s faith by throwing for 322 yards and four touchdowns in a 33-30 loss at Dallas two weeks ago. The ex-Chicago field general wasn’t great against the Jaguars, however, completing a subpar 19-of-39 attempts with an interception. He’ll be looking often in the direction of top receiver Santana Moss (84 receptions, 1041 yards, 6 TD), who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth time in his career last Sunday, and reliable tight end Chris Cooley (72 receptions, 3 TD), with former Arena League player Anthony Armstrong (42 receptions, 2 TD) lurking as a dangerous deep threat who had six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown in the previous matchup with the Giants. Leading rusher Ryan Torain (681 rushing yards, 17 receptions, 6 total TD) didn’t play in December’s encounter with New York, but the brittle back has averaged 96.7 yards and a healthy 5.3 yards per carry in three games since coming back from a hamstring injury, adding a lift to an offense that’s still an unwanted 29th in rushing yards (92.9 ypg).
The Giants have surrendered the sixth-fewest yards in the NFL for the season (305.8 ypg), but haven’t performed to those standards during the team’s current skid. The secondary was torched for 404 yards and four touchdowns by Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers in last week’s forgettable defeat, with the Packers quarterback hitting on 25-of-37 throws and connecting on several long gains. New York had difficulty putting pressure on Rodgers in the game, but that normally hasn’t been a sore spot for a defense that’s tied for the league lead with 44 sacks and had four against the Redskins during Week 13, including a pair from rookie end Jason Pierre-Paul (29 tackles, 4.5 sacks). The first-round draft pick is part of a deep wave of edge rushers headlined by the end pairing of recent Pro Bowl selection Justin Tuck (75 tackles, 11.5 sacks) and Osi Umenyiora (43 tackles, 9.5 sacks), who have forced an outstanding 14 forced fumbles between them. The Giants’ total of 35 takeaways trails only powerhouse New England for tops in the NFL, with cornerbacks Terrell Thomas (91 tackles, 5 INT, 20 PD) and Corey Webster (52 tackles, 4 INT, 12 PD) adding to that amount with an interception each of McNabb in early December.