Two weeks ago, the New York Giants and Washington Commanders battled to a 20-20 tie at MetLife Stadium. With the NFC East rivals each sporting a 7-5-1 record, Sunday night's rematch at FedExField will have a playoff atmosphere.
"We know what's on the line," Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas said Monday. "So we already know the mentality that comes with that. Washington is a great team and our division is great this year. So we know what this game means and we're doing our best to prepare for that."
Washington currently sits as the No. 6 seed. After a blowout loss to Philadelphia, the Giants fell to the No. 7 spot. Sunday's victor will own the tiebreaker, giving it a significant advantage with three games remaining.
Big Blue got off to a hot start this season, sprinting to a 6-1 record. But Brian Daboll's team has cooled considerably, going 1-4-1 in its last six games. Of the four losses, only one has been within eight points.
The Giants know that Sunday's rematch against the Commanders is a chance to stop the slide and keep the playoff dreams alive. So the message from defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence is to do a little more this week in advance of Sunday's massive matchup.
"Challenge guys to watch a little bit more, study their matchups a little bit more," Lawrence said, via The Associated Press. "Doing what we already do, just a little bit more type of thing."
Both teams will approach Sunday's game like a playoff matchup. The winner will get a leg up. The loser won't be eliminated but must contend with Seattle, Detroit or even Green Bay making a run at the final playoff spot in the last three weeks.