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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Neither the Washington Redskins nor the New York Giants expected to be such distant afterthoughts in the 2013 season. Washington won the NFC East last year with a young team, and was looking to get even better. The Giants have won some recent Super Bowls, and hadn’t yet reached the decline phase of Eli Manning’s career (they thought!). Maybe neither team was going to be up to Super Bowl standards this year. They would at least be in the playoff discussion.

Instead…the two teams are a combined 7-15…and are only on the fringes of the playoff race because they play in such a disappointing division. New York has to win out for a 9-7 record, which might not be enough to steal the division even if they get some help. Washington is looking at 8-8 as a best case scenario…and they’re not playing lately like a team capable of running the table.

So, we don’t have a critical NFL clash to preview this week on NBC (who decided not to flex to a different game because Denver/Kansas City was blocked by CBS, and Arizona/Philadelphia or Cincinnati/San Diego didn’t feature the NY market!). But, we do have what could prove to be an entertaining game between two teams who don’t want to accept that their seasons have ended.

 

Won-Lost Records (strength of schedule)

NY Giants: 4-7 (#3 schedule in USA Today)

Washington: 3-8 (#11 schedule in USA Today)

Both teams have had tougher than average schedules. Maybe the Giants would be 6-5 against a league average slate…but that’s still not very impressive in the big picture. And, 5-6 seems more likely given their inconsistent form. Washington isn’t a playoff caliber team this year however you slice it.

 

Yards-Per Play

NY Giants: 5.1 on offense, 5.0 on defense

Washington: 5.6 on offense, 6.0 on defense

The Giants are on the right size of zero even against a very tough schedule. Their problems this season haven’t been in the area of yardage (as you’ll see in a moment). And, that’s a great defensive number against such a strong slate. Washington’s defense has been very poor, which has put pressure on the offense to win shootouts. Tough to do with a quarterback who still hasn’t fully recovered from offseason knee surgery. Big edge here to the Giants, who have the better differential while playing the tougher schedule.

 

Turnover Differential

NY Giants: -11

Washington: -3

This is what’s been killing the Giants. Issues with their offensive line led Eli Manning to throw a lot of early season interceptions. And, he’s still prone to do that now even though the unit is a bit more cohesive. Washington’s on the wrong side of zero, which magnifies the damage done by having a bad defense. The Redskins will need to win this category Sunday Night if they want to win the game.

 

Market Performance

NY Giants: 4-7 ATS

Washington: 3-8 ATS

Both teams have been money-burners for their backers. We talked about their expectations up front. The market certainly saw both teams as at least Wildcard caliber to start the season. Oddsmakers and sharps have been slow to adjust the whole season through. And, Washington would be 2-9 ATS if they hadn’t covered a game in overtime as a small favorite. Oddsmakers had the Skins at least a field goal too high in their Power Ratings for many weeks.

 

Current Line: NY Giants by 1.5, total 45.5

 

Home field advantages is worth three points…so the market has clearly created some distance between the teams now. The Giants would be -4.5 on a neutral field, and -7.5 at home. Is that an over-adjustment? Or, is the Redskins demise really that dramatic amidst the off-field turmoil?

JIM HURLEY knows how important the Sunday Night game is during a huge football weekend like this. You don’t care if it’s great entertainment…YOU JUST WANT TO WIN! To see if Giants/Skins made the cut for Sunday, purchase our full slate right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about Sunday football or the rest of the season, call us in the office before kickoff of the early games at 1-888-777-4155.

We’ll return Monday for a look at what might be a preview of the NFC Championship game when the New Orleans Saints visit the Seattle Seahawks. What a grand finale to a great holiday weekend! BIG, JUICY WINNERS are still being served as the THANKSGIVING WEEKEND FOOTBALL FEAST continues!

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