Vincent Carchietta | USA TODAY Sports

The Giants’ critical rematch with the Commanders is here. They are 4.5-point road underdogs on Sunday Night Football. Here are the ESNY staff picks:

Danny Small, staff writer. Is anyone planning on picking a tie in this game? This Giants-Commanders matchup will have a playoff feel. New York is looking for their first win in the division, but they won’t get it in Washington. Taylor Heinicki does just enough to get his team the win. Commanders 23, Giants 19.

Josh Benjamin, staff writer. The playoff chase is on as the Giants keep regressing to the mean, and now they face a Commanders team that’s 6-1-1 since Week 6. Taylor Heinecke has Washington clicking on all cylinders, while Big Blue will likely lean on Saquon Barkley against one of the league’s better run defenses. Washington’s motivated defense comes back and avenges the tie. Commanders 23, Giants 20.

Matt Musico, editor. The only thing the Giants really have going for them right now is that Daniel Jones has historically played well against the Commanders. He also likes playing at FedEx Field. This is just the latest must-win game for Big Blue, and they’ve yet to actually win one of those. I just don’t think is able to do enough to stop the second-half tailspin they’re on. Commanders 27, Giants 17.

James Kratch, managing editor. This game is very important for the Giants. But it is not the make-or-break endeavor it is being presented as. Even if the Giants lose, there is still a very good chance they will back into the playoffs given the Seahawks’ collapse. Which is good news for them because they are not winning here. Commanders 23, Giants 16.

Ryan Honey, staff writer. When these teams last faced two weeks ago, Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke was able to pick apart the Giants’ battered secondary for 275 yards and two touchdowns. And with New York still dealing with injuries in that area (specifically to safety Xavier McKinney and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson), expect the same outcome. The Giants’ defense has had a tough time being able to consistently unleash its pass rushers due to the secondary concerns. This should continue Sunday night, when Heinicke should have enough time to produce and lead Washington to a huge victory. Commanders 23, Giants 17.

1-Small: 16-10 against the spread, 14-11-1 straight-up
T2-Benjamin: 15-11, 15-10-1
T2-Musico: 15-11, 15-10-1
4-Kratch: 15-11, 13-12-1
5-Honey: 14-12, 14-11-1

James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.