As the Washington Redskins get closer to the start of another season, Redskins.com will preview all 16 of the team's regular season games, continuing with today's look against the New York Giants.
The Redskins and Giants went down far different paths to end the 2015 season, as Washington won its final four regular season games to clinch an NFC East title while New York went 1-6 in the final seven games before moving on from head coach Tom Coughlin.
Result of last game vs. New York:** Won 20-14 on Nov. 29, 2015
New York's Key Additions: Signed DE Olivier Vernon, CB Janoris Jenkins, DT Damon Harrison, LB Keenan Robinson, RB Bobby Rainey; Drafted CB Eli Apple (Ohio St.), WR Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma), RB Paul Perkins (UCLA), TE Jerell Adams (South Carolina)
New York's Key Subtractions: CB Prince Amukamara (free agent/Jaguars), DE Robert Ayers (free agent/Buccaneers), DT George Selvie (free agent), G Geoff Schwartz (free agent/Lions), S Brandon Meriweather (free agent), WR Rueben Randle (free agent/Eagles)
New York's Pro Bowlers: WR Odell Beckham Jr., QB Eli Manning
The Redskins end their regular season at home against the New York Giants in a game that could hold both teams' playoff fates and the NFC East title in the balance.
The NFC East has been decided in Week 17 before, including the 2012 battle between the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys when Washington, led by the rookie duo of Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, clinched the division. In 2016, the Redskins will be vying to be the first repeat NFC East champions since the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003 and 2004.
The Week 17 matchup, slated for the first day of 2017, projects to be the Redskins' 25th matchup against Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The Ole Miss product has thrown for 5,404 yards, 27 touchdowns and 21 interceptions with a 58.1 completion percentage in his 23 career games against the Redskins.
The Giants offense will grab the headlines, especially with another matchup between Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman looming, but it is the Giants defense that warrants attention. The Giants defense floundered as the season ended in 2015, allowing over 35 points in each of its final three games, including 49 points to Minnesota in Week 16, as the team stumbled to a 1-6 finish.
To help the porous defense, the Giants uncharacteristically splurged in free agency this offseason in an attempt to return to the defensive dominance that fueled their Super Bowl seasons in 2008 and 2012. The team signed defensive end Olivier Vernon from the Dolphins -- the best edge defender over the second half of 2015 according to Pro Football Focus -- making him the type of player the Giants need to avoid the same second half ills that plagued them last season.
The team also signed nose tackle Damon Harrison from the Jets, cornerback Janoris Jenkins from the Rams, former Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson and drafted cornerback Eli Apple out of Ohio State in the first round to shore up the unit that finished ranked last in total defense.
To compound the potential high stakes on the line, the teams have a history of close contests. At FedExField, twelve games between the Redskins and Giants have been decided by a touchdown or less.