- Ben Fawkes, NFL
Three weeks ago, the Washington Redskins were sitting at 3-6 heading into their bye week. But two convincing divisional wins later, the Redskins are back in the playoff picture at 5-6 as they host the New York Giants on "Monday Night Football."
For the Redskins, the explanation for their success is pretty simple: Robert Griffin III has been spectacular. Heading into Week 13, RG3 was ranked eighth among NFL quarterbacks according to Football Outsiders' DVOA metric (14.2 percent DVOA) fifth in ESPN's Total QBR (72.1) And as ESPN Insider Chris Sprow writes, Griffin III is only likely to improve. Sixth-round pick Alfred Morris also has been a pleasant surprise at running back, going over 100 yards four times this season.
For the Giants, it's a similar tale as previous seasons. Just as New York fans were anxiously awaiting another second-half collapse, the Giants destroyed the Green Bay Packers 38-10 last week to give them some distance atop the NFC East. QB Eli Manning broke out of his slump, but can he continue to pile up good performances? On defense, the Giants might want to consider bringing more pressure down the stretch, as Pro Football Focus notes in this story.
The Giants are 5-5-1 against the spread this season, while the Redskins are 6-5. However, Washington is 5-2 ATS as an underdog. According to ESPN Insider's PickCenter, 61 percent of the public is backing the Giants.