DC Sports Day

Which Redskins Team Will Show Up Sunday?


(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)

One word can best describe the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFC East, and that is inconsistency.

The Redskins stand at 4-6 as they get ready to face the Giants, who are 5-5 and currently in first place.

Washington’s up-and-down year can be seen in just their last two games. They blew out the Saints, 47-14, at home, and then were run out in Carolina by a nearly identical score, as the Panthers won 44-16 this past Sunday.

Part of the reason they are 4-6 in the play of Kirk Cousins, who has flashes of brilliance, but is not the consistent performer they need.

When Cousins puts up big numbers, they generally win. Against the Saints, he threw four touchdowns and for 324 yards. Against the Panthers, he was held to 207, threw a touchdown and an interception.

Aside from the Saints game, he only has one other game in which he threw multiple touchdown passes, and that was when he had three TD passes and threw for 317 yards in a 31-30 win against Tampa Bay on October 25.

The only other game, in addition to against New Orleans and Tampa Bay, he three for over 300 yards this season was against the Giants on September 24, when he threw for 316 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

The Redskins lost that one 32-21, as the Giants capitalized on the interceptions and Eli Manning had a big night, with 279 yards, 22-32 passing, and two touchdowns.

The Giants defense has improved with Jason Pierre-Paul improving their pass rush, but they are still one of the weakest defenses in the league.

Cousins should be able to put up big numbers once again, and that is what they will need to win, as their defense cannot be counted on to stop an elite quarterback like Manning. The only elite quarterback they have shut down this season was Drew Brees, who they held to 209 yards, 19-for-28 passing, and even though he had two touchdown passes, he was picked off twice.

In addition to Cousins, the Redskins need to get something out of their running game. Against Carolina, it was nearly non-existent as they were led by Chris Thompson, who had four carries for ten yards. Alfred Morris had two carries and Matt Jones had five carries, and both were a net zero yards on their possessions.

Against the Giants in September, Jones had 11 carries for 38 yards, Thompson rushed for 29 yards on two carries, and Morris had 19 yards on six carries.

If the Redskins win this one, it would take away the biggest advantage the Giants have, which is the head-to-head tiebreaker. New York split with Dallas, who could still be a factor with Tony Romo back, and lost the one game they have played with Philadelphia. If Washington wins Sunday, the Giants will not have a winning record against any of their division rivals.