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Monday night NFL picks against the spread: RGIII gets night under the lights

Al Bello

Not many expected the Washington Redskins to do much this season, but one thing is true: Robert Griffin III is worth the price of a ticket to FedEx Field, and the fans will turn out en masse to see what the rookie can do in a key NFC East matchup Monday night against the division-leading New York Giants.

Washington is still in the mix for a playoff spot even at 5-6. A win on Monday puts them one game behind the Giants for the division lead. Certainly any Washington fan would have taken that if told that would be the situation in Week 13.

The Giants defense fared very well against the Green Bay Packers last week, with Aaron Rodgers standing in the pocket. But they will face a challenge in trying to contain RGIII on the move and staying true to their gap should Griffin make defenders guess as to whether he'll run or pass.

The biggest challenge of the game, though, is Washington's sketchy defense against Giants quarterback Eli Manning and the passing game. Manning shredded the Packers on third down last week and he's got plenty of solid targets to which to throw the ball. How the Redskins secondary performs will be key.

Look for both offenses to trade scores for much of the night, and for Washington to cover the 2 1/2-point spread if not win outright. Griffin should expose the Giants defense, and although New York will score its share of points, Washington has the capability to more than keep up with the Giants.

Washington's 2-8 record in the past 10 games in December has to turn around at some point, right?