1:00 PM ET, December 14, 2014
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Giants Fifth Down: Unsung Heroes
The current NFL iron man has created stability at the quarterback position for New York, something the Washington Redskins surely envy.
Washington and Tennessee are the only clubs to have started a trio of quarterbacks, and it may not be surprising that they have combined for five wins. Griffin started the season opener for the Redskins (3-10) before being injured early in Week 2 and giving way to Cousins, who like Griffin has started five times.
McCoy made his first start of the season in place of the struggling Cousins on Oct. 27 and led Washington to a 20-17 overtime win over Dallas before Griffin returned. But after Griffin again failed to regain the form that led him to being named the 2012 offensive rookie of the year, McCoy started the last two, including last week's 24-0 loss to St. Louis.
McCoy sprained his neck in the fourth quarter and has been listed as questionable this week, but after fully participating in Friday's practice, he was cleared for this game by a specialist. Coach Jay Gruden said McCoy threw the ball fine with "no issues whatsoever" at practice.
Griffin was pegged to start if McCoy wasn't cleared. Gruden said he took into account the "total package" of work from McCoy, Griffin and Cousins when making the decision, and said McCoy's greater body of NFL experience helped make the difference.
Griffin played the final two minutes against the Rams after McCoy got hurt.
"We've had looks at all three quarterbacks," Gruden said. "And based on what we've seen out at practice for the whole training camp and offseason, and the game situations, right now we feel like Colt is in the lead."
Manning has been under center for every game for the Giants (4-9) since being named the starter for the final seven games of his rookie season in 2004. He's listed on the injury report for the first time in over two years because of a back injury suffered in last week's 36-7 win over the Titans that ended a seven-game losing streak, but he said it's just a minor issue.
"I want to be there for my teammates. I want to be there for the organization," Manning said. "I know we have a lot of guys who are banged up and hurting, but they are there practicing, they are there playing on Sundays."
Coach Tom Coughlin can't relate to Gruden's situation.
"We've been able to, for a number of years, have a starter that's been in his position no matter what, game in and game out," Coughlin said. "No question, that's a solid, solid plus to be able to do that."
Despite the Redskins' back-and-forth approach with their quarterbacks, they still rank third in the league in passing yards per attempt at 8.08 and 10th with 254.2 per game overall.
"The quarterback situation is a little bit up in the air, but Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin and Kirk Cousins have certainly done an outstanding job for the Redskins," Coughlin said. "They all have outstanding quarterback ratings."
Washington hopes one of its top targets will be able to play this week. DeSean Jackson suffered two shin contusions against Indianapolis two weeks ago and had to sit out against St. Louis. He leads the club with five touchdown receptions and leads the NFL with an average of 20.0 yards per catch.
Gruden said Jackson is "50-50" to play Sunday.
"He needs to air it out and hopefully he will get some more plays in practice," Gruden said.
Although the focus is squarely on the Redskins' offense, Gruden is looking at the big picture. Washington has given up 73 points over the last two games and is allowing 26.6 per game, 25th in the NFL.
"I don't think we are satisfied in any part of our game right now," Gruden said. "We have got to figure out a way to get the better results."
Manning had his best game of the season against Washington on Sept. 25, throwing for 300 yards and a season-best four touchdowns in a 45-14 rout. Cousins started for the Redskins and threw four picks.
Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn't play in that contest because of a hamstring injury. He caught a season-high 11 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown last week, while fellow rookie Andre Williams had season highs of 24 carries and 131 yards while also scoring.
Coughlin said Rashad Jennings could be in the mix to get more carries against the Redskins, who have lost the last three meetings.
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New York Giants
|Avg Points Allowed||1.7||.9|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||WSH|
|Rush Yds Allowed||WSH|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|NY Giants leads 20-8|
|Sep 25, 2014||WSH 14, NYG 45|
|Dec 29, 2013||WSH 6, @NYG 20|
|Dec 1, 2013||WSH 17, NYG 24|
|Dec 3, 2012||WSH 17, NYG 16|
|Oct 21, 2012||WSH 23, @NYG 27|
|Dec 18, 2011||WSH 23, @NYG 10|
|Sep 11, 2011||WSH 28, NYG 14|
|Jan 2, 2011||WSH 14, NYG 17|
|Dec 5, 2010||WSH 7, @NYG 31|
|Dec 21, 2009||WSH 12, NYG 45|
|Sep 13, 2009||WSH 17, @NYG 23|
|Nov 30, 2008||WSH 7, NYG 23|
|Sep 4, 2008||WSH 7, @NYG 16|
|Dec 16, 2007||WSH 22, @NYG 10|
|Sep 23, 2007||WSH 17, NYG 24|
|Dec 30, 2006||WSH 28, NYG 34|
|Oct 8, 2006||WSH 3, @NYG 19|
|Dec 24, 2005||WSH 35, NYG 20|
|Oct 30, 2005||WSH 0, @NYG 36|
|Dec 5, 2004||WSH 31, NYG 7|
|Sep 19, 2004||WSH 14, @NYG 20|
|Dec 7, 2003||WSH 20, @NYG 7|
|Sep 21, 2003||WSH 21, NYG 24|
|Dec 8, 2002||WSH 21, NYG 27|
|Nov 17, 2002||WSH 17, @NYG 19|
|Oct 28, 2001||WSH 35, NYG 21|
|Oct 7, 2001||WSH 9, @NYG 23|
The Giants have a league-high 17 sacks in the last three weeks. New York had eight sacks last week, their most in a game since Week 4 of the 2010 season.
The Redskins have allowed 46 sacks this season, the second most in the NFL. Washington has allowed at least five sacks in five straight games, tied for the team's longest streak since the 1970 Merger.
The Redskins and Jets are the only teams in the NFL to rank in the bottom five of the league in Total QBR on offense and defense.
FROM ELIAS: Odell Beckham's 71 receptions is the most by any player through 10 career games in NFL history. His 972 receiving yards are 2nd to Bill Groman through 10 career games. He also has 10 catches, 100 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in 3 of his last 4 games. No rookie has ever had more than 2 such games in an entire season.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information