Giants (1-6) vs Redskins (4-2)
Last Sunday the Washington Redskins advanced their position in the NFC East division
race. They were the only team in that group to finish with a win. Even better
for them, it was a 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants played on
Monday night with the Atlanta Falcons. Going in, it looked to be a game they could
win, as the Falcons were facing a number of injuries. The Giants fell behind early,
and though they managed to score 17 points in the second half, they still lost
out to the Falcons 23-20.
- Falcons Wrap-Up
Even if you don't follow the team,
you've heard a lot about their quarterback issues, and their situations in the
past few years. Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III were selected in the same
2012 draft, with Washington trading with the St. Louis Rams to get Griffin, the
second-overall pick. They gave up three first-round picks and a second rounder,
and Cousins was selected later on in the fourth round. That year behind Griffin,
the Redskins were a dismal 3-6 at the bye week. Then they went on to win all the
rest of the games to finish at 10-6. They had the NFC East title, and lost in
the wildcard playoff game.
In 2013 Cousins saw some playing time when Griffin
was injured, then he started in the final games to finish off a losing 3-13 season.
Anxious to be a starter, Cousins said he would be open to a trade before the 2014
season, and instead he got his chance to start for his team early on when Griffin
suffered a dislocated ankle. Cousins started in five games before being benched
for the rest of the season in favor of Colt McCoy, as the team went 4-12. In 2015
Cousins was named the starter over Griffin, and a Redskins 9-7 record had them
winning the division, to also be one and done in a wildcard playoff game.
The Redskins couldn't bear to see Cousins leave, and amidst much drama and money
over 2016 (8-7-1) and 2017 (7-9), Cousins became the first quarterback in NFL
history to be franchise tagged in consecutive years. Washington needed to win
in their last game of the 2017 season with the Giants to avoid finishing up with
a losing season, but that didn't happen. The Redskins couldn't come to an agreement
with Cousins, and he finished his six year career with them going 26-30-1, with
99 touchdowns and 55 interceptions, and he is now with the Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1).
Alex Smith was traded to Washington from the Kansas City Chiefs, and in his five
years there was 50-26 with 102 touchdowns and 33 interceptions, and has his team
The offense with Alex Smith (7 touchdowns
and 2 interceptions), is ranked 26th in passing yards. Smith hasn't thrown for
over 300 yards in any game, and doesn't tend to throw the ball downfield all that
much. Washington is ranked 25th in scoring points, and even with running back
Adrian Peterson, the Redskins are at about the middle of the pack (15th) with
their ground game. The Redskins have scored just five points more than they have
given up in six games, but still sit with four wins and two losses. The best thing
this team does is know how to not lose football games, and that's something the
rest of their division hasn't been able to pull off.
Washington is the second
best team in the league, having just 5 turnovers, and not turning the ball over
has helped lead to their success . Peterson is their biggest offensive weapon.
The Redskins felt it when Peterson was limited to six yards on four carries in
their loss to the New Orleans Saints, a game where he dislocated his shoulder.
Overall Peterson is averaging 4.3 yards a carry. The Giants just traded away
their big run stopper Damon
Harrison this week, so there could be even
less pressure on Smith to do more than dink and dunk the ball down the field.
have a lot of respect looking at their counterparts on the other side of the ball,
and know that stopping the run is top priority. The Redskins did just that last
week, holding the Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott to just 33 rushing yards. Saquon Barkley
isn't that same type of runner. Though he can break for big plays, no one has
a run longer than 18 yards on this defense. Barkley has done that in five of his
seven games. Overall the Redskins are 3rd in the league, giving up 87.3 yards
a game. They are playing well up front, and
even being a mobile quarterback didn't help Dak Prescott, who was sacked four
times on Sunday.
The unit also accumulated a total of five sacks in winning
both games played against Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton. Thanks in part to the
up front pressure, the defense has allowed just 18 pass plays of at least 20 yards
or more, tied for the fourth fewest in the league. Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh
Norman did not face off last year with Beckham being out with a broken ankle.
Thanks to his new contract, if Beckham has Norman ragging on him, he can just
laugh and throw dollar bills (maybe a few hundreds) in his face.
Manning and his top receivers Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham Jr. put up good
numbers last week playing against the Atlanta Falcons. Manning threw for 399 total
yards with Shepard and Beckham combining for over 300 of those yards, and their
three biggest plays each covered more than half the football field before they
were tackled. It all sounds good, but the end result was just one passing touchdown.
The only other touchdown was a Saquon Barkley two-yard run. With the two field
goals added in, the Giants scored just 20 points, not enough to win in this game.
It was the same old story, Manning had poor pass protection, and took four
sacks in the first half. They started to make some progress, but after that got
too eager, going for it on fourth-and-goal from the Falcons 1-yard line. It didn't
work and may have been a poor choice since they lost the game by three points.
There was also another strange coaching decision when Pat Shurmur went for a two-point
conversion when he didn't need it and failing that, he had his team trailing by
eight points. It certainly doesn't sound like the Giants know what they are doing
at this point.
The Giants made some big changes this
week, trading away two starters for future draft picks. They're either giving
up on the year, or figuring their backup talent has shown enough to be counted
on. Admittedly, first round pick Eli Apple, though doing the job, hasn't been
spectacular over his three years with the Giants, but defensive lineman Damon
Harrison is another story. Harrison is a great run stopper, and the Giants will
be facing Adrian Peterson in this game. Even with him, the Giants rank 20th in
stopping the run, allowing 113.9 yards per game.
To make matters worse, middle
linebacker Alec Ogletree, dealing with a hamstring injury, was ruled out for this
game on Friday. B.J. Goodson will likely be the starting middle linebacker. Meanwhile,
Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill will have to show what they can do without Harrison
being around. This game will be all about stopping the run up front. Alex Smith
has thrown only 18 passes that have gone for more than 20 yards, and many came
from shorter throws or screen passes. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder is still out,
and Paul Richardson is questionable with shoulder and knee issues.
the Redskins win this game, they will be 5-2 overall and have a 2-0 division win
loss record. The Giants would be 1-7 and 0-3 in the division, and even if they
could somehow win all the remaining 8 games they'd be 9-7 and 3-3 in the division.
That's the absolute best they could do, and it still would likely not be enough.
Simply put, the Giants have to win this game.
Sunday at 9:30am Eagles (3-4)
at Jaguars (3-4).
Sunday at 1:00pm Redskins (4-2) at Giants (1-6).
Eagles and Redskins are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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Eli Manning has been sacked 24 times so far, the most of his career through seven
Giants Saquon Barkley has the
second-most yards from the line of scrimmage so far this season.
Saquon Barkley leads the league with 50 broken tackles.
have won 10 of the last 11 games playing the Redskins at MetLife Stadium .
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