It Could Be a Big Weekend for Eli Manning

Redskins defense has been torched by the pass all year

The biggest offensive story the last two weeks for the Giants has been the return of the running game. 

Ahmad Bradshaw ran so well and so often that his oft-injured foot is aching (it actually got stepped on) and he's questionable to play against the Redskins this weekend. It might not be a bad week for Bradshaw to see his carries dialed back a bit anyway. 

The Redskins enter this week's contest with the league's worst pass defense. They're giving up 328 yards per game through the air, a number that makes us very happy that their defensive coordinator Jim Haslett isn't pulling double duty in D.C. with some kind of missile defense job. 

Their pass rush has been seriously compromised by the injury to Brian Orakpo and they signed safety Brandon Meriweather to solidify the secondary, a move that hasn't paid off at all as Meriweather continues to be out with a knee injury. That sound you hear is Victor Cruz's salsa music. 

Eli Manning had two awful games against the Redskins last season and has struggled with them at other points in his career. Not much seems to affect the laconic gunslinger, but he might be looking to get a little payback for that history on the field this Sunday. 

He's going to have a healthy Hakeem Nicks running out for passes with Cruz. Nicks practiced all three days this week for the first time all season and he's going to be sharper than he was in San Francisco last season. 

While Nicks was out, the Giants got big games from Domenik Hixon, Rueben Randle and Ramses Barden to add some seasoning to their receiving depth chart. That means Manning's comfortable throwing to anyone on the field and that he's got a full complement of healthy weapons for the first time since Week Two against the Buccaneers. 

Manning threw for more than 500 yards that week against the Bucs, who are ranked just ahead of the Redskins in the pass defense standings. Do you see that big blotch of blue heading into the doppler radar around 1 p.m. on Sunday?

It's shaping up to be a perfect storm for the Giants passing game. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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