NFL 2015 Week 3 Thursday Game Preview: Washington at NY Giants

September 23, 2015

Week 3 of the 2015 NFL season begins on Thursday night (CBS/NFLN, 8:25 PM ET) with a classic NFC East rivalry game, as Washington (1-1) travels to New York to take on the Giants (0-2) at MetLife Stadium.

Washington has more or less been a dysfunctional franchise for the duration of the Daniel Snyder ownership era, and this season is no exception.  Although the team enters Week 3 following a 24-10 victory over St. Louis, Washington remains embroiled in a quarterback controversy between Kirk Cousins and former first round pick Robert Griffin III.

Cousins completed 23 of 27 passes (85.2 percent) for 203 yards with one touchdown for a 110.3 passer rating in the victory last week.

Despite the ongoing circus between the quarterbacks and their head coach, Washington has made some positive strides with their rushing attack.

Washington rookie running back Matt Jones (Round 3, No. 95 overall) also rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

“Matt had a great game and we saw a lot of positives out on the field,” said Washington head coach Jay Gruden. “You also have to credit the tight ends and the offensive line, who were excellent. All around it was good work by everybody, but we have a short week against the Giants coming up. It is going to be key that we prepare like we have been.”

In fact, through the first two weeks of the season, Washington leads the league in rushing with 343 yards (171.5 yards per game). Washington is the only team that has two players with at least 150 rushing yards (Alfred Morris, 180; Jones, 151).

Morris has been a steady contributor against the Giants during his career, tallying 444 rushing yards against them, the third-most among running backs since he entered the league in 2012. Morris has rushed for at least 100 yards or scored a touchdown in four of six career meetings versus New York.

Meanwhile, the Giants enter Week 3 reeling after a 24-20 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.

One bright spot has been star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who had seven receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. Beckham has 103 career catches in 14 career games, becoming the fastest player in NFL history to reach the 100-reception mark. His 1,495 career receiving yards are also the most through a player’s first 14 games.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 27 of 40 passes (67.5 percent) for 292 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 105.4 passer rating in  Week 2. Manning now has 40,240 career passing yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas (40,239) for 14th on the all-time list.

“Thursday is an important game,” said Manning. “It’s a short week and we don’t know much about Washington yet. They’ve got a new defensive coordinator so we have to look at a lot of film quickly, get prepared and hopefully go out there and play better.”

The Giants have won the past four games against Washington, including a 45-14 victory on Thursday Night Football last season. The Giants have not lost at home to Washington since 2011.

On Thursday, Manning looks to continue his impressive play against divisional opponents. Since entering the league in 2004, Manning has passed for 15,773 yards against the NFC East, the third-most passing yards against a player’s own division during that span.


WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring), CB Justin Rogers (foot)
T Tom Compton (calf), LB Perry Riley (calf)
CB DeAngelo Hall (rib), DT Terrance Knighton (rib), G Shawn Lauvao (calf), C Kory Lichtensteiger (finger), T Morgan Moses (knee)


WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), DT Markus Kuhn (knee), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion)
T Ereck Flowers (ankle)
DE Robert Ayers (hamstring)
LB Jon Beason (knee), DT Jay Bromley (knee), TE Daniel Fells (foot), DE Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), G Geoff Schwartz (illness)

By Staff of and news services

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