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Giants vs. Redskins 3 keys to victory

New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle is

New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle is stopped by New York Jets defensive back Darrelle Revis in the first half of their NFL preseason game in East Rutherford, N.J., Aug. 29, 2015. Photo Credit: Ray Stubblebine

The Giants don't have much time to dwell on their second narrow defeat in as many games, a 24-20 loss to the Falcons at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. They return to action tonight at home against the Redskins in a pivotal NFC East matchup.

A loss to the Redskins, themselves 1-1 after a 24-10 victory against the Rams on Sunday, would send Big Blue to 0-3 to start the season and 0-2 in the division. While not quite a death knell, it will be hard for the team to reverse its fortunes -- or lack thereof.

Here's a look at how the Giants can stave off a three-game losing streak.

Trench warfare

The Redskins' offensive line has done a phenomenal job creating running room. On 43 carries, lead back Alfred Morris is averaging 4.2 yards per carry, a figure that might stand out more if not for teammate Matt Jones' 151 yards on 25 carries. The Giants defensive line, anchored by Cullen Jenkins on the interior, have held opponents to just 3.0 yards per carry. Something has to give in this matchup of unstoppable force vs. immovable object.

Rise, Rueben, rise

Odell Beckham Jr. can't be the only Giants receiver Eli Manning can trust. With Victor Cruz (calf) ruled out and Preston Parker released, all the pressure to step up and perform falls on Rueben Randle. He's caught just four of his seven targets for 28 yards, only one of which earned a first down. Randle, who caught 71 passes for 938 yards and three touchdowns a year ago, has dealt with knee tendinitis of late. He's not on the injury report, however, meaning coach Tom Coughlin will expect the wideout to play up to his ability.

Secondary concerns

Injuries in the defensive backfield are nothing new to the Giants this season, but losing top cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion) for tonight is a big blow. Jayron Hosley will play opposite Prince Amukamara as the duo looks to stymie Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins. At least the Redskins' passing game has health problems of its own; notorious Giant killer DeSean Jackson will miss his second consecutive game with hamstring issues.


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