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Redskins-Giants: 4 Keys To Victory

Posted Nov 29, 2012

Redskins.com's Brian Tinsman breaks down the key players and matchups to keep an eye on during Monday's Redskins-Giants rematch at FedExField.

Redskins.com's Brian Tinsman breaks down the key players and matchups to keep an eye on during Monday's Redskins-Giants rematch at FedExField.

“Redskins-Giants: 4 Keys To Victory” is presented by Papa John’s.

Every Monday, fans can order a large cheese pizza for only $9.99, plus for each touchdown that the Redskins score, fans get one free topping. And with a Redskins victory, fans get double the toppings.


STICK WITH WHAT WORKS

The bye week is the best thing that could have happened to the 3-6 Redskins.  Since then, the Redskins are 2-0 against division opponents, as the offense averages 34.5 points per contest.

The key to the offensive resurgence has been the return of Pierre Garcon, who showed his value in Dallas on an athletic 59-yard catch and run for a touchdown.  Mike and Kyle Shanahan said it was worth it to have him back even in a reduced role; imagine what he will be able to do when he gets back in football shape?

On the other side of the field, the Redskins have found good success rotating young receivers Aldrick Robinson, Joshua Morgan and Leonard HankersonRobert Griffin III is taking what the defense gives him, and the results have put the Redskins back in the hunt for the playoffs.

AGILE, MOBILE, HOSTILE

After giving up a game-clinching 77-yard touchdown the last time they played the Giants, the Redskins have learned the error in their ways, and have become confidently aggressive on defense.  No surprise--it works.

The defense has tallied six takeaways in the last two games, raising the team's turnover margin to plus-12 on the season, good for fourth in the NFL. DeAngelo Hall has long embraced his role as a playmaker and appears to be playing with more confidence in his roving defensive back role.

Up front, the Redskins need a big day from the pass rush, to force Eli Manning to make mistakes. The Redskins rush defense is ranked No. 3 in the NFL right now, allowing fewer than 90 yards per game. With Andre Brown done for the season, look for the Redskins to key on Ahmad Bradshaw.

POUND THE ROCK

Going against one of the top defensive fronts in the NFL, rookie running back Alfred Morris rushed for a career-high 120 yards, earning him Rookie of the Week honors.  Needing just 18 yards to become Mike Shanahan's first 1,000-yard rusher in Washington, Morris should get a heavy load on Monday, taking advantage of a depleted Giants' line.

Morris is having an outstanding rookie season and has earned comparisons to fellow sixth-round pick Terrell Davis.  With 982 yards this season, Morris needs just 135 yards to match Davis's rookie output.  He also needs just 82 yards to break the Redskins' rookie rushing mark, set by Reggis Brooks in 1993.

For the record, Morris is averaging 89.27 rushing yards per game, which is 30 yards more per game than any other full-time rookie starter in Redskins' history.  He currently projects for 1,428 rushing yards this season, with nine rushing touchdowns.  This would be the fourth-highest total in Redskins' history.

CONTINUE THE HUNT FOR THE PLAYOFFS

The biggest key to the Redskins' success down the stretch will be their mindset, and how well they are able to block out the distractions.  Led by six team captains, the locker room has had a tempered determination since returning from the bye week, and the results speak for themselves.

The talk around Redskins Park is focused on execution, as the roles have been clearly defined for everyone on the team.  No matter what a players' role is on the 46-man gameday roster, he must be ready to contribute to a third-straight Redskins' win.

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