The Washington Redskins have only four days to pick themselves up after a late collapse and a crushing defeat that dealt a jarring blow to their postseason hopes. Losers of two in a row and four of their last five, Washington faces what basically amounts to a must-win scenario when it hosts the New York Giants on Thanksgiving night.
The Redskins blew a 15-point lead in the final six minutes of an eventual 34-31 overtime loss to New Orleans and dropped to 11th place in the NFC -- two games out of the final playoff slot. “It stings everybody involved with the Washington Redskins, that’s for sure,” coach Jay Gruden said. “We just have to bounce back. We have a short week. It doesn’t get any easier. The Giants are coming to town on Thanksgiving. We have no choice but to keep grinding and keep battling.” New York has been relegated to spoiler since opening the season with five consecutive losses, but it halted a three-game skid with a 12-9 overtime victory over AFC West-leading Kansas City on Sunday. ”We’re not complacent. At the end of the day, it’s just one win,“ Giants running back Orleans Darkwa said. ”We want to make sure we can stack these wins together and make the best situation possible for this team.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Redskins -7.5. O/U: 45
ABOUT THE GIANTS (2-8): New York put forth a strong defensive effort, limiting Kansas City to three field goals after surrendering a staggering 106 points during its three-game slide. The Giants won despite Eli Manning completing 54.3 percent of his passes and throwing for only 205 yards while failing to toss a touchdown pass for the first time since the season opener. Darkwa rushed for at least 70 yards for the third consecutive week and added a touchdown on 20 carries, but none of the team’s receivers had more than three catches on Sunday. Safety Landon Collins led to strong defensive effort by intercepting a pass and recording a career-best 14 tackles.
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (4-6): Washington wasted a superb effort by Kirk Cousins, who threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions against the Saints. Cousins will be without some of his best weapons as Chris Thompson, who leads the team in touchdowns, rushing and receptions, was lost for the season after suffering a broken fibula on Sunday. Wideout Terrelle Pryor was placed on injured reserve, tight end Jordan Reed remains a question mark and the offensive line could be without three starters and the top two centers. Rookie Samaje Perine ran for a season-high 117 yards, but the defense has allowed at least 33 points in the past four losses.
1. None of the teams left on Washington’s schedule currently own a winning record.
2. Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul has 9.5 sacks in the past 10 games against Washington.
3. Cousins is third in the NFL with 2,796 passing yards.
PREDICTION: Redskins 27, Giants 16