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Redskins Try to Turn It Around Against the Giants on Turkey Day

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It’s been a tough couple of weeks for both the Washington Redskins and the Redskins faithful. After an improbable road victory over the Seahawks had injected life into the 2017 season, devastating defeats at the hands of the Saints and Vikings has put Washington on the outside looking in. Nevertheless, the Redskins odds for the next game, still have them as home favorites, and by a decent margin.

Washington fans across America will get to feast on whatever pumpkin pie they can still fit into their overstuffed-button-popping-post-turkey-tummies, while watching Washington host their first ever Thanksgiving Day game, in an NFC East matchup with the New York Giants.

Before last week, it would have been very easy to look past or through the 2017 New York Giants. They have been dismal. But not only did they squeeze out a tough 12-9 victory just this past weekend, but they did so against the Kansas City Chiefs – a team that beat the Redskins 29-20 earlier this year.

It was reported that Eli Manning gave an impassioned pre-game speech, to a team that was playing with very little passion. Or effectiveness. How else do you describe a 1-8 team? But a 2-8 team? Well that’s different, right?

Manning has always played the Redskins tough, and has a lofty career record of 17-8 against Washington, with 28 touchdowns. Matter of factly, Manning has won five of the last seven meetings, including the final game of the 2016 season, which actually put the Redskins out of the playoff hunt. So even though New York only have two wins on the year, it will be an NFC East dogfight for the Redskins, like they always are.

Manning said this week, “It’s a short week, but everyone here is excited about the opportunity to go play on Thanksgiving.”

The Giants will be without the services of both guard D.J. Fluker, and offensive lineman Justin Pugh. They will also be without staring middle linebacker B.J. Goodson. That would sound like some tough obstacles to overcome, if you weren’t then comparing it to the Redskins injury situation – which has officially reached a sublime state.

The Redskins added FOUR more players to the injured reserve list this week – including offensive linemen Spencer long and Shawn Lauvao – and receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. and Chris Thompson. To make offensive line matters even worse, backup center and Long’s replacement Chase Roullier, will not be available due to a hand injury.

On a short week because of the Thursday matchup, the Redskins didn’t even hold a real practice this week – just walk throughs.

If the 2017 season is to be salvaged for the Redskins, they have to find a way to overcome their injury woes and beat the Giants. Thanks to the crushing overtime loss to the Saints, Washington are 11th in the NFC playoff chase. that means Washington need to jump over five teams in the final six weeks. Nothing but running the table will accomplish that.

In their favour, despite being ten weeks into the season, the Redskins haven’t played the 2-8 Giants once yet, so have two games against a very below .500 team. In fact, the Redskins won’t face a team that (currently) has a winning record for the rest of the season.

Statistically, Washington’s offense is ranked 11th in points per game while the Giants are 30th; unfortunately, following two brutal outings, the Redskins’ defense has fallen to 31st in points allowed per game.

The game might come down to how Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins takes care of the ball. He is 2-4 as a starter against the Giants, perhaps largely due to the fact that he has thrown 12 interceptions in those six games. He’ll need to do better than that if Washington are to overcome their injury problems.

On Thanksgiving night, Cousins needs to play like he gets paid $24 million per year.

Or there will be no pumpkin pie.

More By Mark Solway

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