Redskins vs Giants: Key’s to the Game

Redskins Personnel Washington Commanders

1. Try to eliminate special teams mistakes:

-I say “Try” because it seems like a nearly impossible task. The special teams have been beleaguered this season with just about everything that could possibly go wrong. From blocked kicks, allowing returns for TD’s, and a number of penalties, the Redskins special teams unit has been costing them yards and points. That has to change if the Redskins are to become a contender. The special teams can’t keep putting them in a hole and hope to win a lot of football games. In a game like this versus a division rival on a short week, they can’t afford any costly errors from the special teams.

2. Get Pressure on Eli:

-It won’t be an easy task as two of the Redskins top pass rushers (Brian Orakpo and Jason Hatcher) are less than 100% entering this game and there is a chance that Hatcher won’t even play tonight, but the Redskins have to find a way to get to Eli. The Giants due a lot of quick passing which makes it tougher on the pass rush, but it isn’t impossible. Manning is finally starting to look comfortable in this offense, and can pick apart a secondary if he’s not forced into making some bad throws. Making matters even worse is the fact that the Redskins secondary is probably the weakest unit on this team. If Manning has time against this unit, that is a huge advantage for the Giants. The pass rush has to put some pressure on Manning and force some throws that can hopefully become interceptions.

3. Bottle up Rashard Jennings:

-Jennings had been having a nice season as an all-around back for the Giants, but he just went off last week versus the Texans rushing for 170 yards in the Giants victory. The Redskins have done a nice job slowing the run this year so far, but with some injury question marks along their front seven, it could be a little tougher this week. If Jennings can get going it’s going to make the Redskins entire defensive game plan that much tougher. If the Giants can be balanced, and aren’t facing a lot of 2nd and 3rd and long situations, Jim Haslett won’t be able to dial up blitzes and the pass rushers can’t pin their ears back in getting after Eli. If Jennings gets going, he could also wear down the defensive line which looks to be pretty thin on a short week.

4. Try to Control the Clock:

-This is a short week and the Redskins right now represent a MASH unit more than an NFL football team. Though many of the players on their injury report are going to play in this game, many of them won’t be at 100%. If this game turns into a shootout where there are 65-70 plays on each side of the ball it could wear down the Redskins and turn into an advantage for the Giants. The Redskins should try to run the football and control the clock. Though it will put a little more pressure on their offensive players dealing with injuries, it protects a defense that has been thinned out considerably by injury. The Redskins need a heavy dose of Alfred Morris and quick safe passes that should help keep the clock moving. Unless they get down in this game, the Redskins should look to take some extra time between snaps to really eat up the clock.

5. Protect Cousins:

-So far Kirk Cousins has done a really nice job handling the pass rush, being sacked just two times in over 80 drop backs. He’s done a nice job making quick decisions and getting rid of the ball quickly, before the pass rush can really impact the play. While there was some criticism this week that Cousins at times got rid of the ball too soon, for the most part his reading of pressure and how the pocket is shaping up has been pretty good. Though things have been good so far, you can expect teams to come up with more creative ways to get free rushers attacking Cousins and trying to confuse both him and the offensive line.

This week is potentially troubling for a couple of reasons. First, starting guard Shawn Lauvao is likely to be out tonight as he was unable to practice this week and was still experiencing swelling. In his place will be Josh LeRibeus who hasn’t exactly lived up to his 3rd round status. At center Kory Lichtensteiger is nursing a host of injuries and is listed at questionable. Though he might play, it seems very unlikely that he will be at 100%. Even right tackle Tyler Polumbus is a little banged up, and though he is pretty much guaranteed to play, he too might be less than 100%. Having one starting lineman out and two others at less than 100% (especially Lichtensteiger who could be considerably less than 100%) is troubling for the Redskins. The Giants will definitely try to exploit the weak points in the Redskins line. The other factor that comes into play is the fact that it is a short week. They Redskins haven’t been having their full practice schedule this week, so it’s going to be harder to get LeRibeus on the same page with the rest of the offensive line.

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