Team Giants


Giants - Redskins
Game 3 preview
Sunday Sept 25, 1:00 PM - Redskins at Giants

Giants (2-0) vs Redskins (0-2)
Last week in the fourth quarter, the Redskins were up by 3 points. They hoped to extend their lead down at the Cowboys 6 yard line, but Kirk Cousins threw an interception in the end zone. Later Alfred Morris, their former running back, scored the go-ahead touchdown to give his new Cowboys team a 27-23 win.
The Giants were playing in their home opener after coming off a close win in Dallas. Their defense limited the Saints to just 13 points. With the special teams unit scoring a touchdown to add to their three field goals, the Giants fans went home happy with a 16-13 win.

Washington Redskins
No NFC East division champion team has repeated since 2004 and the defending Redskins are off to a poor start with a 0-2 record. How well they finish has a lot to do with how quarterback Kirk Cousins does throwing the ball. So far it' hasn't been all that good, with Cousins throwing for only one touchdown and three interceptions. Two of them were in the red zone, where his completion percentage is a dismal 29.4. Looking back at eleven of the games he played last season, Cousins threw just a single touchdown per game and had 11 overall interceptions for 4 wins and 7 losses.
In the others, Cousins had either three or four touchdowns in each game to total 18 touchdowns with no interceptions. They were all wins. So how does head coach Jay Gruden get the 'You Like That' Cousins to show up on a more regular basis? Gruden says that Cousins 'needs to relax, calm down'. Maybe it would help him relax if they took some weight off his shoulders with a running game. Cousins is tied right now with Blake Bortles (Jaguars 0-2) for throwing the most passes this season (89).

Washington Redskins Offense
Last week it was almost a slap in the face to see Alfred Morris run the ball in for a touchdown. Morris was the leading rusher for the Redskins last year with 751 yards and a 3.7 yards per carry average. Matt Jones was second with 490 yards for a 3.4 average, and the former rookie is in the top spot now. In their first game, the Redskins had 55 rushing yards and 82 in the second. Cousins running was responsible for 8 and 20 yards respectively for a total of 28 yards out of the total 137. The running backs have averaged less than 55 yards a game.
First off you'd think that their lead running back Jones isn't carrying the ball, and you're right on that in one respect. Jones isn't carrying the ball because they're not giving it to him. His average is 4.3 yards a carry and he has one touchdown, but they've only given him the ball 20 times over two losing games. There was a comment after the 2014 season that Morris had made the Pro Bowl, but he wasn't as productive under
Jay Gruden as he was before, 'largely because the new coach often abandoned the run when Washington fell behind'.
That said, we have to admit that it's tempting to throw to DeSean Jackson whenever possible. With his help the Redskins are currently second in the league with 7 completions of 25 or more yards. Jackson was banged up during the third quarter of the Cowboys game and that didn't help their chances. Jamison Crowder had a great rookie season and continues to impress. Pierre Garcon caught all six of Cousins passes in their first game, but they connected for only 2 out of 7 last week. Jordan Reed is one of the best pass catching tight ends and was the top receiver for the Redskins last year.

Washington Redskins Defense
In their opener against the Steelers, they allowed three passing touchdowns, but last week gave up none. It was the three rushing touchdowns and two field goals that did them in. They sacked Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott four times and caused running back Ezekiel Elliott to fumble twice. What they didn't do was employ Josh Norman, their 75 million dollar man, (5 year contract), against the Cowboys top receiver Dez Bryant until the fourth quarter. Bryant ended up with 7 catches for 102 yards.
The week earlier it was the same coverage story, with Steelers Antonio Brown. Redskins cornerback, Bashaud Breeland tried to keep up with Brown, who snared 8 catches for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. So have the Redskins learned their lesson? Can they afford to cover
Odell Beckham Jr. with anyone other than Norman? There was a leaked report earlier in the week that Norman will cover Beckham all over the field except in the slot.
In general the secondary will be tested, as the Giants will field a better group of receivers than last year when they took a 20-14 loss to the Redskins. Getting to Eli Manning will be a priority for linebacker Ryan Kerrigan who already has 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble so far this season. Trent Murphy was effective last week with 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble. Overall they' need to do better stopping opponents on third down plays. They are last in the league in that area.

Giants offense
Last week Eli Manning and his offense were unable to come up with even one touchdown. They committed three turnovers and Manning's receivers had a number of drops on well placed balls. Even with that, Manning completed 32 of 41 passes for 368 yards. In case you hadn't noticed, Sterling Shepard led the Giants in receiving with 117 yards, and he caught all eight passes Manning threw his way. The week before Shepard caught three of four, including one touchdown and three of his catches on the year have gone for 20 plus yards. That's the same for Victor Cruz and his big 34 yarder last week with less than two minutes left, was the one that allowed Manning to put the game away.
Odell Beckham Jr. dropped a sure pass on the play right before that, so Cruz bailed him and the Giants out with his catch. It will be interesting to see how the Redskins will handle the trio. Running backs Shane Vereen, Rashad Jennings, and tight ends Larry Donnell, Will Tye combined, have so far missed on only 6 of Manning's 25 passes to them. Jennings is expected to play despite the fact that he hurt his thumb and wrist during last week's game. The Giants need to pick up on the running game, where they average just 3.2 yards a carry.

Giants defense
They're doing a lot of things right and it's a good thing too, because their offense isn't lighting up the scoreboard. They could help themselves by causing a turnover and they are one of the few teams that has yet to accomplish that. They are stopping the run (fourth in the NFL) and have been able to keep their opponents out of the end zone. Even though the Redskins have had some success, the haven't shown much desire to run the ball anyway, and it's unlikely that they'll start here.
Kirk Cousins can get a hot hand and the last time the Giants faced Washington, Cousins threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson and scored on a quarterback sneak, but this isn't the 32nd-ranked defense he met with back then. This group has been able to limit the big plays and they have allowed just two touchdowns in the first two games.
Steve Spagnuolo has been playing things smart and seems intent on keeping injuries down and players fresh. For example last week Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was in the game less against the Saints than rookie Eli Apple. He's also limited linebacker Devon Kennard. Still defensive end Olivier Vernon has been dealing with a wrist injury, and Nat Berhe will make his second start at free safety in place of the Darian Thompson.

The Redskins have scored more points than the Giants over these two opening games (36-39), and yet they have two losses to show for it. One reason is that their defense has given up twice as many points (65-32). Both teams certainly need more offensive scoring. Turnovers are not helping either one and they both struggle in the red zone. There is only one team since 1990 that has started a season with two home losses and then went on to make the playoffs.
That was the Eagles in 2003, so the Redskins have extra incentive for this match up. Even with that, and assuming Josh Norman and
Odell Beckham Jr. cancel each other out, it's going to be hard for Washington to deal with the Giants receivers. In fact, if Norman was smart he would shove rookie Sterling Shepard around a bit just to get an overprotective Beckham off his game. I'm expecting Kirk Cousins to throw another 45 passes with about the same results he's been having, and the Giants will win.

NFC East Games
Sunday at 1:00pm Redskins (0-2) at Giants (2-0).
Sunday at 4:25pm Steelers (2-0) at Eagles (2-0).
Sunday at 8:30pm Bears (0-2) at Cowboys (1-1).
The Giants and Cowboys are favored to win in these games.

Notes - Giants.
Giants Odell Beckham Jr., in 3 games against the Redskins, has 28 receptions for 364 yards and 5 TDs.

Giants Odell Beckham Jr., in the last four he's played, has not had a 100 yard plus game.

Giants have started the season at 2-0. Last time was in 2009 when they won the first five.

Giants defense does not have a takeaway yet on the season.

Notes - Redskins.
Redskins DeSean Jackson leads the NFL with 101 receptions of 25 yards or longer since he came into the league in 2008.

Redskins have not won in a Giants home game since 2011.

Redskins were up 20-0 in the 4th quarter and intercepted Eli Manning three times in the last game they played, before taking the win 24-20.

Redskins Kirk Cousins led the NFL in the final eight games in 2015 with a 69.8 completion percentage.

Redskins Kirk Cousins is 1-3 in four career starts against the Giants, completing just 55 percent of his passes, with 3 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and a lost fumble. Check out.
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