The Washington Redskins will take on the New York Giants this Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
On paper, this game may appear as a mismatch with the Redskins (4-2) sitting atop the NFC East, and the Giants (1-6) not having won a game since September. However, we know better. Throw records out the window when these two teams meet.
In fact, the Giants love playing the role of spoiler against the ‘Skins. According to Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post, “In their past 24 regular season games, the Giants are 2-1 against the Redskins and 2-19 against everyone else”. This includes two consecutive week 17 wins that have prevented the Redskins from postseason hopes.
So what are the Redskins’ key to success this weekend? Keep reading to find out.
Stop the Best Player on the Giants… Saquon Barkley
You thought I was going to say Odell Beckham weren’t you?
In seven games, the torch appears to have passed to Barkley as the most important cog on the Giants offense. Already with 905 total yards, Saquon is the key component in what the Giants want to do. 1st and 10? Give it Saquon. 2nd and 8? Throw it to Saquon. 3rd down? Scramble around aimlessly and force a throw to OBJ. It’s not surprising the Giants average only 19.1 PPG. Their offense is limited.
The Redskins need to devise a game plan to stop Saquon from springing large gains and key him in the flats. He has been targeted over 10 times (16,12,10) on three separate occasions this year. The Giants are making a concerted effort to get him touches.
Take him out of the game and force Eli Manning to beat you. And gang-tackle. Saquon’s typical stat line is several short runs, and one breakout play. Stop that and the ‘Skins should find success.
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Shade to Greg Stroman’s Side
NFL players are smart. They study film. That’s what they do. There’s now film out there on Greg Stroman, and it is not good. On two separate occasions, Stroman has mishandled coverage and has given up long touchdowns (Saints and Cowboys). He appears especially susceptible to the double move.
It’s almost a guarantee that if OBJ sees number thirty-seven lined up across from him, he is immediately going stick his hand up and yell “nine” for a fly route. Green light to the End Zone.
It’s not Stroman’s fault. He’s still developing. And with Quinton Dunbar expected to be out longer than expected with a nerve injury in his leg, the young defensive backs are short handed. This leaves a seventh round, under-sized cornerback penciled in at CB2.
Unfortunately, he’ll be lined up against the fastest receiver to 5,000 receiving yards this Sunday. Can the former Hokie rise to the occassion? We’ll see.
Win the Turnover Battle
We’ve seen it. The Redskins have been winning by the slimmest of margins. They can’t afford to give up possessions to ANY team. It’s a divisional match-up. Records mean nothing in this game. Ride our bell-cow, Adrian Peterson and dictate the pace of the game. That’s the winning formula in 2018.
In terms of our passing game, this may be a game in which Alex Smith can bounce back. The Giants have only recorded 10 sacks on the year. Ideally the front line can hold up so Alex Smith can protect the ball and make timely throws.
The Redskins will win in a low scoring affair. The game will largely be dictated by the running games of both teams. Beckham will have both a jaw dropping play, as well as tantrum on the sideline. However, the Redskins will prevail 20-17.