Well, last week was fun. RG3 said he was good to go Sunday after the concussion against the Falcons, & was he ever good. After an interception he absolutely dominated the Vikings. But he may just face his toughest test in his first NFC East division game against the defending champs New York Giants. Giants are coming off a huge dominating victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams coming off big wins, this might be the NFL’s best match-up of the week.
Scouting the Giants
The Giants boast one of the NFL’s best passing attacks. Eli Manning is oozing with confidence after a 2nd super bowl ring. Eli is averaging 290 yards per game in the air. Eli spreads the ball around generously but Victor Cruz is by far is favorite target. Cruz is tied for 1st in the NFL with the most targets so far in the season & is 2nd in the NFL in receiving TDs. Domenik Hixon has received his fair share of targets & has done the most with them. Martellus Bennett at tight end will be a sore eye for the Redskins pass defense as the last couple of weeks the Redskins have been torched by TE’s. Hakeem Nicks looks to be getting close to full speed & Eli will definitely look for him a lot. The offensive line has given up the least amount of sacks in the NFL with 5.
This is what makes the Giants offense great. They’re ranked top 10 in the NFL in rushing as well as passing. Definitely not one-dimensional, Ahmad Bradshaw has run over the Redskins in years past. Bradshaw is off to another good year. The Redskins won’t face familiar foe Brandon Jacobs as he’s in the San Fran now but the Giants have a good backup in Andre Brown who averages 5.2 ypc this year. The Giants also go to rookie David Wilson as the speedy change of pace guy, he averages 5.8 ypc.
The Giants are pretty average in the run. It’s worth noting that they’ve only allowed over 100 yards rushing twice this year & both games resulted in their only losses of the year. Starting DT Rocky Bernard has been battling an injury & it won’t help their run defense if he’s unable to play.
Giants have struggled to defend the pass this season in some games this season. They’re giving up 257 yards per game in the air. The team a great job of creating turnovers & part of the reason is the great pass rush that’s helped their secondary out. The Giants are 2nd in the NFL with 11 interceptions.
Keys to the Game
- A successful running game. It’s imperative the Redskins have success on the ground Sunday because the moment the Giants make you one-dimensional it creates a lot of havoc for the offense. As noted earlier the Giants only losses this season have come when they’ve allowed over 100 yards rushing in a game.
- Make the Giants one-dimensional. The Giants have had success on the ground this year, making their offense virtually unstoppable. The Redskins have been top 10 all year stopping the run, so they have to play the run well to force Eli to pass all game. Eli has only been sacked 5 times this year, but if you can stop the run game you’ll have more opportunities to get to Eli.
- Play smart. The Giants are a very disciplined team, they won’t beat themselves. They’re #2 in the league for less penalized team.
- Ball control. The Giants have dominated time of possession early in games, while the Redskins haven’t. Time of possession will be crucial in this game with two dominant offenses.
What I’m Anxious To See
- Trent Williams vs Jason Pierre-Paul. Trent is playing at pro-bowl level this year & JPP is one of the game’s best pass rushers. JPP has already opened his mouth about wishing RG3 runs to his side. Anxious to see Trent hold him in check.
- More Lorenzo Alexander. Last Lorenzo was a monster on defense, we haven’t seen a consistent pass rush like that all year. Makes you wonder what took so long to give him a shot over the non-existent Rob Jackson & Chris Wilson.
- The defense force more turnovers. Say what you will about the Redskins defense but they’ve been turnover creating machines this year. 4 of them they’ve taken to the house. We all know as great a QB as Eli may be, he still has bad turnovers & the Redskins have been capitalizing all year on turnovers.
Last 2 Meetings
9/11/2011 – Rex Grossman had a field day in the season opener against the Giants. Rex threw for over 300 yards & 2 TD’s. Ryan Kerrigan intercepted Eli Manning in his first game of his career & returned it for a TD. Eli threw no TDs in this game. Fred Davis had over 100 receiving yards as the Redskins won 28-14.
12/18/2011 – The Redskins defense dominated this game. Intercepted Eli 3 times & sacked him 3 times. Eli Manning finished the game without having thrown 1 TD on the Redskins all year. The Redskins won this game 23-10.
Well one thing’s for sure, the Redskins sweeping the Giants will mean nothing for the Redskins this Sunday. If anything the Giants remember it will & they may use it as extra motivation. But this is a divisional game, both teams will be up to play for it & an early spot in 1st place is on the line. The Giants probably have the best balanced offense the Redskins defense has played this year, but the last 2 games the Redskins defense seems to be settling in. I expect Eli won’t be shut down in this game like he was last year against the Redskins, he’ll throw for 300+ but I think the Redskins stop the Giants on the ground, & get a turnover or 2. The Redskins offense will be tough to stop & they’ll score enough to help the defense.
Redskins 30 Giants 24