According to the latest from the lowlands of northern Jersey, two key players in the prolific offense of the New York Giants are questionable for Sunday’s tilt at FexExField. Brandon Jacobs, the bruising 265-pound tailback, still has some issues with his knee, even after sitting out Sunday’s victory against the Arizona Cardinals. And Plaxico Burress, the mercurial 6-foot-5 wide receiver, remains hampered by hamstring issues. Those can last months, no matter how many whirlpools, massages, and other pricey treatments the franchise might send at this stubborn muscle.
Now for a little analysis for Redskins fans: It’s hard to know whether fans for the home team should be rooting for those guys to sit things out or take part. That’s because, in each case, their understudies are arguably just as good as the starters. Jacobs’ backups are Derek Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw, two runners who may not pack Jacobs’ punch but maneuver much more quickly in tight spaces. Where Jacobs, for instance, averages 5.4 yards per carry so far this year, Bradshaw stands at 6.3 ypc. His long is a 77-yarder, against the Ravens. Burress’ replacement is Domenik Hixon, a great up-and-comer who rang up nearly 300 all-purpose yards on Sunday. A lot of Giants fans, it’s safe to say, are secretly hoping that Burress stays out of the action.
Arizona had a good game plan against the Giants: They stacked the line of scrimmage and stopped the run, forcing the Giants to rely on Eli Manning‘s passing attack. In the end, it didn’t work, as Manning had a good game and bested the Cards, 37-29.
But: Arizona has the league’s 17th-ranked pass defense. The Skins have the 4th-ranked pass D. On that stat alone, the game will hinge. My prediction: Skins 20, Gmen, 10.