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Redskins at Giants Preview: Giants Close Disappointing Season At Home Against Washington With Chance To Finish With 7 Wins In Final 10 Games

  By Brad Carroll  
The 2013 football season for the New York Giants and their fans comes to an end Sunday afternoon against the Washington Redskins. In a hugely disappointing season, the Giants can't finish with a .500 record and could end up with double-digit losses if they lose at home in the season finale. On a positive, a victory would give the Giants seven wins in their final 10 games, which is impressive for any playoff team in the league.

But, overall, whether the Giants finish 7-9 or 6-10, this season will be forgotten as soon as the clock reads all zeroes at MetLife Stadium. While the Giants made a nice run in the middle of the year to give themselves and fans hope they could make what would have been a shocking run to the postseason, the writing was on the wall after an 0-6 start to the season.

Unlike most teams in this exact situation, the Giants aren't worried about turning the entire organization over. Coach Tom Coughlin will be back unless he decides to retire, which would be a surprise. Quarterback Eli Manning, despite leading the NFL in interceptions, will be the quarterback next year and until he decides to hang up his cleats for good.  There will be plenty of roster upheaval, as there is with every team in the NFL, but the main pieces are in place.

So, there isn't much to watch for beyond the product on the field in the season finale against the Redskins. Winning is always great, but there's most likely a great portion of Giants fans who wouldn't mind a loss here, to improve draft position. But the difference between draft spots at 6-10 and 7-9 shouldn't get anyone excited. It might be more fun to see a team in complete dysfunction and be happy the Giants aren't close to that type of turmoil.

Whatever your motivation for watching, it's still football and it's your final chance to see the New York Giants on the football field. Next season starts for real eight months from now. Eight months! Enjoy all the football you can get now because that's one long wait.

Here's our in-depth look into the regular season finale between NFC East rivals Sunday afternoon.

Washington Redskins (3-12, fourth place NFC East)
at New York Giants (6-9, third place in NFC East)

The Spread: Giants -3.5; Redskins +3.5

Major Injury Report: GIANTS: Out, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, WR Victor Cruz, TE Adrien Robinson, G Brandon Mosley. Questionable, WR Rueben Randle, CB Trumaine McBride. REDSKINS: Questionable, LB Brian Orakpo.

GameDay Staff Picks: Brad: Giants 21, Redskins 17. Craig: Redskins 27, Giants 17. Matt: Giants 21, Redskins 10.

How Giants Can Beat Redskins
Motivation: On paper, this game against the Redskins is meaningless for the Giants. Win or lose, this season will go down as a disappointment. But coach Tom Coughlin has been preaching all week the importance of winning seven of the team's final 10 games. The Giants could do that by beating the terrible Redskins Sunday. The Giants started the season by losing their first six games but have rebounded to win six of their last nine. Beat the Redskins and the Giants end the year going 7-9, which would include an impressive 7-3 run to end the year. While that would be something for the players to hang their hat on, nobody will care when looking back on this lost season if the team won six or seven games. So, what's the motivation? Easy. Most of these current Giants, save for a handful, are playing for their jobs next year. Whether it would be with the Giants or some other team next season, every play, every moment is a chance for a player to prove he can play in this league. If a player is dogging it because he just wants to get this season over with, people will notice. If a guy is busting his butt in a meaningless game, playing as if it was the Super Bowl, people will notice. You'll learn a lot about a lot of players in this game. If the Giants as a team are motivated to win, there is no reason why they shouldn't beat the Redskins. If not, the result would be one of the worst losses in a season full of them.

Protect the Football: This one is for Eli Manning, who has been an interception machine this year. Manning has thrown a career-high 26 interceptions, which is also the most in the NFL this season. He's thrown nine interceptions in the past four weeks, so what might have been thought to be an early-season problem has continued throughout the year. The Giants are 0-6 when Manning throws at least two interceptions in a game and 6-3 when he throws one or none. Manning has five games this season where he's thrown at least three interceptions. Obviously, Manning has to protect the football against Washington. Limit the picks to under two and history says the Giants will win the game.

Pressure Cousins: The last time the Giants played the Redskins, they sacked quarterback Robert Griffin III five times, with four of them coming by Justin Tuck. This time around, Kirk Cousins will be at quarterback for the Redskins. Cousins isn't the same player as Griffin III, as he's a more pocket passer than his mobile teammate, so the opportunities to take him down will be harder to come by. The Redskins have allowed just one sack in Cousins' three starts this season. If the Giants can't get pressure on Cousins, he could pick apart the Giants secondary with Pierre Garcon, who has had a huge season in Washington. He leads the NFL with 107 receptions, which is also a Redskins team record. The Giants held him to nine catches for 67 yards the last time this two teams met. If the Giants keep the pressure on Cousins, and not give him time to find open receivers, they will indeed end the season winning seven of their final 10 games.

Three Redskins To Stop
RB Alfred Morris (had 186 rushing yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks); WR Pierre Garcon (had 18 receptions for 273 yards and two touchdowns the last two games); QB Kirk Cousins (has thrown for 578 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions last two weeks)

NFC East Games
Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

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