By Kevin McGuire
By the time you get to settle in and watch the Washington Redskins and New York Giants, you may be pretty stuffed from a few helpings of turkey and stuffing, and maybe a couple slices of pumpkin pie. As the post-Thanksgiving stomach gets a break, you can tune in to watch a Thursday night showdown between two NFC East teams playing through a lost season.
In a game that had all the makings of a potentially pivotal division clash when the NFL schedule was originally unveiled, the Giants are now struggling their way through a 2-8 season and Washington is two games under .500 at 4-6. Will either team be able to seize the moment Thursday night to gain any positive energy going into the final month of the season?
The Last Time They Met…
This is the first meeting of the season between these two longtime rivals. They will meet again in the season finale. Last season, the two teams split the season series with the road team winning each game. The most recent meeting was on January 1 of this year in last season’s finale, with the Giants winning 19-10 to solidify their spot in the NFC playoffs. The last time the home team won in the series was Nov. 29, 2015 with Washington beating the Giants 20-14 at home.
Injuries piling up for Washington
As if the loss on Sunday to the New Orleans Saints was not enough, the team came home with a few key injuries. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor was placed on injured reserve following surgery on his ankle on Monday. But the biggest loss from Sunday was that of running back Chris Thompson, who suffered a fractured right fibula to likely bring his season to a premature end. It has been an absolutely brutal season for injuries with Washington.
Giants Going For Two
Things have not gone well for the New York Giants this season either. Two weeks ago, the Giants became the first team to lose this season to the San Francisco 49ers, and now they are flirting with a potential top three pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. But a week after dropping a road game to the 49ers, the Giants pulled a bit of a stunner on Sunday by beating the Kansas City Chiefs, who were coming off a bye week. Can these Giants manage to win two games in a row?
Kirk Cousins: Yule Like That!
Thanksgiving is the gateway to the holiday season, and Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins has just the right holiday sweater for your next ugly sweater party. Playing off his iconic postgame expression from a few years back, Cousins is selling holiday-themed sweatshirts with the phrase “Yule Like That,” as seen on The Comeback. We’ll see if there’s much to like about his team’s performance on Thursday night.
Despite their struggles to get wins this year, Washington has remained fairly competitive. In their last two games against Minnesota and New Orleans — two of the top NFC contenders behind Philadelphia — the Redskins have lost by a combined 11 points, with each loss coming by a single possession. The same cannot be said for the Giants, even after a low-scoring overtime victory over Kansas City. Eli Manning will continue to be unable to make nearly enough plays and Washington will have Kirk Cousins to deliver a win at home this week.