Griffin's Washington Redskins actually swept two meetings from the New York Giants without him last year, and the electrifying rookie will play his first division game in this rivalry Sunday. Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora jokingly referred to Griffin as 'Bob Griffin' in the offseason because he believed the much-hyped rookie needed to earn his nickname of 'RG3.' After Griffin threw for 182 yards and one score and ran for 138 and two more in last Sunday's 38-26 win over Minnesota, those who still doubt the Heisman winner from Baylor seemed more than convinced.
Griffin ranks 15th among all players with 379 rushing yards to top all quarterbacks, and his six touchdowns on the ground are second to Houston's Arian Foster. While his running prowess hasn't been too surprising, Griffin also leads the NFL in completion percentage at 70.2. New York (4-2) is one game ahead of Washington (3-3) and Philadelphia, which is off this week, for the division lead. The Giants are 0-2 in NFC East play and 2-5 in division home games all-time at MetLife Stadium. The Giants' priority will be to slow down a Redskins' running game ranked second in the league at 166.0 yards per game. New York had no problems stopping San Francisco's top-ranked rushing attack in last week's 26-3 victory, limiting the 49ers to a season-low 80 yards on the ground.
New York's pass rush also came alive with a season-high six sacks after producing eight over the first five contests. Now those rushers will have to try to chase down Griffin. Eli Manning's 1,772 passing yards are the NFL's third-highest total, but his problems against Washington last year were part of the reason New York dropped both meetings. Manning had no touchdowns and four interceptions in those games - two of three all season in which he failed to throw a touchdown. New York's offense also figures to be boosted by a revitalized Ahmad Bradshaw, who has 316 yards on the ground over the last two weeks after finishing 2011 with one 100-yard effort. Bradshaw is expected to play despite missing practice Wednesday with a foot injury. New York's defensive front will be bolstered if Chris Canty makes his season debut after being out due to offseason knee surgery. Fellow tackle Rocky Bernard has missed the last two games with a quadriceps injury.
RGIII may be creative under center and might pull off a few tricks, but Eli Manning is clearly the class of the two and should take advantage of a weak Washington secondary. The Giants defense buckled down big time last week and has been playing well since getting off to a slow first half several weeks back against Cleveland. Too much firepower on both sides of the ball should lead to an easy victory.