Thursday Night Football is back again tonight, as the fourth week of the 2014 NFL season gets going with an NFC East divisional showdown. The 1-2 New York Giants take on the 1-2 Washington Redskins, as both teams battle for a better standing inside the division. A win would push either team to .500 at 2-2 and keep them within reach of first place, while a loss could send them down a road of despair.

Before we go that far, though, let’s take a look at some key matchups, situations and story-lines to monitor in this one:

Can Kirk Cousins Continue to Deliver?

Probably the biggest story arc in this contest is the play of backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has come up big the last two weeks in relief of injured starter, Robert Griffin III. The big story is Cousins lighting it up and whether or not continued play at this current level could mean he sticks as the team’s starter, even when RG3 returns to full health. So far, it looks like that could be the case, as Cousins helped the ‘Skins to a huge blowout win in week two and nearly got them a second win in a tough shootout with the Eagles in week three. He certainly can’t stop playing well, though, both for the Redskins to have a shot at winning and to nail down the starting gig for good.

Thursday night could be the start of a special run, as a win over a divisional rival would be huge for his confidence and the team’s stance on backing him. Future games against the Seahawks and Cardinals may be more telling, but showing up big in this prime time event is going to go a long way in proving Cousins belongs as Washingont’s starting quarterback.

Who Will Run the Ball?

Both of these teams are very strong against the run, while Washington is particularly stingy with a unit coming in third overall (under 65 rushing yards allowed per game). It took Arian Foster over 20 carries to crack 100 yards in week one, while the ‘Skins completely shut down Toby Gerhart and LeSean McCoy the past two weeks. Can they keep that pace going against Rashad Jennings? Probably so, but it’s worth noting Jennings is coming off the best rushing game of the year (as well as 30+ carries). On the flip-side, the G-Men’s run defense is no slouch as they come in as a top-15 unit, as well. Who can establish the run and control the tempo of this game should be pretty key. Odds are it’s Alfred Morris and the Redskins, but seeing for sure who can do it will be interesting.

Can New York Complete the Turn Around?

Big Blue looked awful in week one and shot themselves in the foot in week two. In week three they looked like an actual NFL team and now they have a solid shot to get back to 2-2 and start to convince people they’re not the awful team they were a year ago. It will take a win tonight to do that, though, otherwise Eli Manning and co. can put the sad faces back on with a 1-3 record.

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