They started off by bashing the Packers' Aaron Rodgers, who is considered by many to be the game's best. They still have ahead of them Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Baltimore's Joe Flacco, the golden boys of the 2008 NFL Draft who have developed into stars. Oh yeah, they have to face Drew Brees, too.
The one player that did not immediately stick out was Washington's Robert Griffin III. Maybe it's because he's a rookie and the Giants beat him in their first meeting.
He is a player that does everything well. He can throw with accuracy as well as kill you with the deep ball. He can tuck in under and take off in an instant. His recognition of defenses is uncanny for a rookie. He is gaining experience and confidence and he presents a much more diverse threat to the Giants than any of those QBs mentioned above.
"I think his total skills…you can’t really compare him to anybody because he’s a different guy," said Giants defender Mathias Kiwanuka. "He’s got a different skill set than most guys. Some guys are either fast and not necessarily a good pocket passer or they’re a pocket passer and they’re not as quick, but I think he has talent on a lot of different levels."
In their first meeting, Griffin had the Skins ahead, 23-20, late in the fourth quarter only to watch an Eli Manning-to-Victor Cruz 77-yard TD play beat him in the final seconds.
Griffin played a solid game (20/28 258 yds 2TDs and 89 yds rushing) but lost a fumble that killed a long drive and threw an INT that the Giants converted into seven points. That was five games ago. Griffin has been improving with each game.
As per Brian Tinsman of Redskins.com:
Griffin III set three franchise marks last Thursday, including the single-season passing yards by a rookie (Norm Snead’s 2,337 in 1961) and passing touchdowns by a rookie (Eddie LeBaron’s 14 in 1952).The Giants may have a bit of an advantage this time around. They know Griffin's speed and are wary of what damage he is capable of inflicting.
He also became the first quarterback in eight decades of Redskins' football to pass for four touchdowns in consecutive games. For the season, Griffin III is now 206-for-305 (67.5 percent) for 2,504 yards with 16 touchdowns.
"I’d say that he’s more a down-the-field passer than I think that people expected him to be," Kiwanuka added when asked what the Giants learned from the first meeting. "He’s got good poise in the pocket and he can also extend the play and look to get the ball down the field, not just the runner that everybody knew that he was coming out."
ESPN's NFL Live crew talks about what the Giants need to do in order to stop Robert Griffin III.