Last week, some of our bold predictions proved true. Odell Beckham Jr. topped 100 yards receiving; Shane Vereen led the Giants in receptions; Vic Beasley got the best of Ereck Flowers; and Eli Manning and Matt Ryan combined for more than 600 yards passing.
Not too shabby.
Onto Week 3 as Washington comes to town:
1. Giants stuff Washington running duo for less than 100 yards
Washington is going to make a concerted effort to pound the rock on the ground with Alfred Morris and rookie Matt Jones. Last week, the duo gashed St. Louis for a combined 187 yards and two touchdowns.
The Giants run defense through two weeks ranks third in the NFL, having allowed merely 136 yards per game. Better news: defensive captain Beason could return to action, though that remains an iffy situation at this time.
Nonetheless, the Giants front seven has been stout against the run. With or without Beason, they should be up to the task of stifling the 1-2 punch of Morris and Jones.
2. This time, the Giants rally
The Giants have held fourth-quarter leads in each of their first two games of the season, only to fall victim to comebacks. It was the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 and the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday.
However, Washington is a different type of team, one that based on a ball-control offense and stingy defense, particularly in the trenches. The Giants may struggle to solve the Washington defense early, but could erupt in the final quarter to pull off their own comeback victory.
3. Giants secondary steps up in the absence of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Kirk Cousins is a game manager, plain and simple. Through two games, Washington's quarterback has two touchdown passes and two interceptions, and such can be expected against the Giants on Thursday.
The Giants defense has forced three turnovers in two weeks and will be short its top cornerback, Rodgers-Cromartie, for Thursday. However, expect the rest of the secondary to step up in his absence against Cousins.
4. Jordan Reed emerges as Washington's top receiver
DeSean Jackson will not suit up for Washington Thursday, leaving Pierre Garcon, Ryan Grant, Andre Roberts and Reed, the tight end, to shoulder much of the receiving workload.
Reed has been targeted a team-high 17 times by Cousins, which translated into 13 catches for 145 yards in two games this year.
The Giants were torched by Jason Witten for 60 yards and two touchdowns in their Week 1 loss, then Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme gashed them for 77 yards on four receptions last Sunday.
Reed could eclipse 100 yards receiving and find the end zone against a Giants defense that cannot cover opposing tight ends.
5. Giants fail to rush for 100 yards a 3rd consecutive game
The Giants have been on the verge of their first 100-yard rushing game as a team each of the past two weeks, but have settled for 99 and 97 yards instead.
While the Giants rush defense ranks third in the NFL, Washington is right behind them at No. 4. This week, getting to the 100-yard mark will not be an easy task.
The Giants run game is off to a slow start this year and more injuries along the offensive line isn't helping the case. Having said that, we saw a blueprint for Shane Vereen being utilized as a receiver out of the backfield, which may be a way to beat the Washington defense.