Commanders and Giants meet again, fighting for playoff spot


Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC


AGAINST THE SPREAD: Commanders 7-5-1; Giants 9-4

SERIES RECORD: Giants lead 105-71-5

LAST MEETING: Giants and Commanders tied 20-all on Dec. 4 at the Meadowlands.

LAST WEEK: Giants lost to Eagles 48-22; Commanders on bye





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Giants plus-2; Commanders even

GIANTS PLAYER TO WATCH: Azeez Ojulari. The outside linebacker/edge rusher returned to the lineup against Washington two weeks ago after missing seven games with a calf injury. He has three sacks in two games since, including two of Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts. The second-year pro had a strip-sack and recovery, two quarterback hits and a pass defensed in the first game against the Commanders.

COMMANDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: Jamin Davis. The second-year linebacker thrust into lead responsibilities after Cole Holcomb’s season-ending injury will be among those responsible for containing Giants QB Daniel Jones, who rushed for 71 yards in the previous meeting two weeks ago. Davis had surgery during the bye week to repair what coach Ron Rivera called a thumb injury that had been lingering and downplayed as a concern.

KEY MATCHUP: Washington’s offensive line vs. New York’s defensive front. The Commanders are again switching things up on their O-line because of injury, giving Taylor Heinicke a different center and another chance to show his ability to extend plays with his legs. If Heinicke gets more time to throw and less disruption, some adjustments could allow him to improve after going 27 of 41 against the Giants in the most recent matchup.

KEY INJURIES: Giants S Xavier McKinney (hand) is out. ... WR Richie James and LB Jihad Ward are in concussion protocol. ... The team has been without CB Adoree Jackson (knee), and G Josh Ezeudu (neck) for the past two weeks. ... RB Saquon Barkley was not listed on the initial injury report after previously dealing with a neck issue. ... LG Ben Bredeson (knee) is close to returning after missing six games. ... The Commanders are getting healthier out of their bye with CB Benjamin St-Juste (ankle) trending toward returning and DE Chase Young on the verge of making his season debut. ... Wes Schweitzer has cleared concussion protocol and is expected to start at center after Tyler Larsen went on injured reserve.

SERIES NOTES: Washington has won two of the past three. New York is 0-3-1 in NFC East games this season. ... The Commanders are unbeaten in two prime-time games this season and 5-2 since Rivera took over in 2020. ... Washington is playing the same opponent back to back for the first time since it happened against Pittsburgh in Weeks 3 and 4 in 1966.

STATS AND STUFF: The Giants have one win in their past six games (1-4-1). They have been outscored by 53 points over that span. ... Their 26-point margin of defeat against Philadelphia was their largest of the season. ... Jones threw a touchdown pass and ran for a TD in the tie two weeks ago. He has rushed for five TDs this season, matching his combined total in his first three seasons. ... Jones was sacked seven times in the Eagles game. ... Barkley has rushed for 152 yards combined over his past four games. ... WR Isaiah Hodgins has caught a TD pass in two consecutive games. ... New York’s defense allowed a season-high 253 yards rushing against Philadelphia. ... The Commanders are 5-1-1 since Heinicke took over for Carson Wentz as starting QB. Wentz has been activated off injured reserve and is expected to back up Sunday. ... Heinicke has thrown for two-plus TD passes in back-to-back games. ... RB Antonio Gibson has 50-plus scrimmage yards in seven of his past eight. ... WR Terry McLaurin led Washington with eight catches for 105 yards in the previous game against New York. ... WR Curtis Samuel has surpassed 50 catches in a season for the third time in his career. ... DT Daron Payne leads the team with 8½ sacks. Jonathan Allen has 7½ and Montez Sweat 7. ... Allen has a career-best 15 tackles for loss. ... S Kamren Curl had a team-high 11 tackles against the Giants two weeks ago.

FANTASY TIP: There should be plenty of opportunities to go around for Gibson and rookie RB Brian Robinson Jr., since the Commanders have become a run-first offense and shown it’s a winning recipe. Robinson could get more carries with a good bet for more than 20 and Gibson a handful of catches out of the backfield against one of the NFL’s worst defenses.


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