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NFL MONDAY NIGHT PREVIEW

Redskins look to sink Giants

Washington has little to play for except spoil New York's playoff hopes.

December 21, 2009|By Sam Farmer

The Washington Redskins are starting a new chapter.

What better way than to derail the playoff hopes of a bitter division rival?

Beating the playoff-minded New York Giants tonight is more than enough motivation for a Redskins team that's out of the postseason picture, has a just-hired general manager, and a coach with one foot out the door.

"We have the three games left just to prove to everybody we're not going to lay down for nobody, and that goes for everybody, myself included," rookie linebacker Brian Orakpo told reporters. "Regardless of what our record is. I'm tired of talking about our record, and we're not great, but we're always going to fight."

In recent weeks, the Redskins (4-9) nearly upset Dallas, Philadelphia and New Orleans, losing those games by a combined seven points.

That isn't likely to be enough to save the job of Coach Jim Zorn, with rumors circulating that he might be replaced by Mike Shanahan or Jon Gruden, who will be watching tonight from the ESPN broadcast booth.

According to a Fox report, Redskins owner Dan Snyder tried to hire Shanahan in the spring but was rebuffed.

The first major change came last week when Snyder replaced Vinny Cerrato with Bruce Allen as the club's top executive.

The Giants (7-6), meanwhile, are clinging to wild-card hopes despite six losses in eight games, but their postseason plans suffered a potentially devastating blow Saturday when Dallas won at New Orleans. That means that even if the Giants win tonight, they would still be a game behind the Cowboys and Packers, both 9-5, with two games to play in the race for the final spots in the NFC.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATimesfarmer

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