MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
FOX: Thom Brennaman (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (color commentator), Shannon Spake (sideline reporter), Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 PM EDT
This is the 175th all-time meeting between the Giants and Redskins (173rd in the regular season) dating back to 1932. The Giants lead the series 101-69-4 (100-68-4 regular season, 1-1 postseason) including nine of the 14 games since 2012. The teams split their 2018 games (Washington won 20-13 in Week 8 while the Giants won 40-13 in Week 14).
REDSKINS INJURY REPORT
GIANTS INJURY REPORT
WHAT IS ON THE LINE
REDSKINS: Washington enters Week 4 after a Monday Night Football bomb that wasn’t as close as the final score suggests. Head coach Jay Gruden could be coaching for his job as many feel he has underperformed since arriving in the nation’s capital in 2014.
Washington already dropped games to both the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys in the first two weeks of the regular season. They cannot afford to go winless (as well as down 0-3 in the NFC East) at the end of September.
In addition, this game has personal significance to both safety Landon Collins and cornerback Josh Norman. Both players have made no secret of their animus towards Giants general manager Dave Gettleman. They will be especially fired up, especially Collins who was drafted by the Giants and spent four years with the team before signing with Washington as a free agent in March.
GIANTS: Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones led the Giants to their first victory of the season in his first career start. The team will look to build momentum and prove that last week’s win (sealed with a missed Bucs field goal as time expired) wasn’t a fluke.
In 2018, the Giants didn’t win their second game until Week 10. Going .500 in the first month of the season can only boost the team’s confidence. They also need the win to keep pace with Philadelphia, who already won their Week 4 game against the Green Bay Packers Thursday night.
Redskins coaching staff vs. Giants coaching staff
This might seem like an oversimplification but Gruden is definitely on the hot seat. His Redskins have played uninspired football so far this season, culminating with the Bears thrashing Monday night.
If the Giants’ Pat Shurmur outcoaches Gruden and the Giants beat Washington in a similar manner to their first three losses, Gruden could very well be out of a job come Monday morning. Washington hasn’t fired a head coach in-season since Norv Turner was let go after 13 games in 2000. If Redskins owner Daniel Snyder decides keep Gruden defensive coordinator Greg Manusky could be on the chopping block. That could pave the way for Rob Ryan or Ray Horton taking command of the defense.
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HOW THE REDSKINS WILL WIN THE GAME
Washington has to get off to a fast start as they’ve played from behind in the majority of their first three games.
Getting the run game going will help keep the Giants offense off the field. Adrian Peterson, who has looked a step slower thus far, needs to be productive. The future Hall of Famer has just 62 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Derrius Guice hasn’t fared much better with 10 carries for 18 yards. The Giants will be without two inside linebackers and Washington has to take advantage of that.
Case Keenum will have to find McLaurin (assuming he is available) and Paul Richardson early and often. They combined for 14 receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns against Chicago. Coming into Week 4, the Giants were dead last in passing yards allowed (332.8) and in a three-way tie for dead last in most touchdowns allowed (9). The Bucs’ Mike Evans made mincemeat out of the Giants secondary. Richardson could be poised to have his first 100-yard game as a Redskin, especially with the additional targets if McLaurin doesn’t play.
The Redskins defense has to get pressure on Jones, who looked as calm, cool, and collected as the man he replaced last week. Rookie Montez Sweat must win the battle against Nate Solder. Solder has allowed three sacks and has difficulty with long, athletic edge rushers. Although emotion will run high, the Redskins Collins and Norman have to rein themselves in. Taylor Gabriel scored three touchdowns in the second quarter for Chicago. The Giants receivers are better than Chicago’s even though they are shorthanded. Washington will be counting on the leadership of Collins and Norman, as well as Collins’ knowledge of Shurmur’s offense.
HOW THE GIANTS WILL WIN THE GAME
Like Washington, the Giants have to get off to a fast start. They’ve been outscored 69-24 in the first half of their first three games.
The Giants are without Barkley, who entered Week 3 second in the NFL in rushing yards. Wayne Gallman and Elijhaa Penny don’t have to play like Barkley. They simply need to keep the chains moving so that the Redskins defense has to respect the ground game and take some of their focus away from Jones.
Speaking of Danny Dimes, he simply has to build on last week’s momentum. He has to continue to be accurate throwing the ball as well as knowing when to use his legs to move the chains or test the secondary deep. The biggest problem with Jones is ball security. He has three fumbles so far, including two against Tampa.
The Giants may have to throw the ball more with the absence of Barkley. They will count on Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram to put up big numbers. This is doable because Norman has struggled deep while rookie Jimmy Moreland is still learning the nuances of playing on Sundays. The X factor could be rookie Darius Slayton, who had an impressive NFL debut last week. The Giants will target him more against Washington.
If Keenum’s night against Chicago is an indicator, the Giants defense could have a field day. The Giants secondary has been much maligned but they only allowed three second half points last week after Tampa hung 28 on them in the first 30 minutes. Credit defensive coordinator James Bettcher for making the necessary adjustments. For the first time, the Giants defense looked cohesive. Generating turnovers (the Giants only have one this season) will be huge and Keenum has shown an uncanny ability to give the ball to the opposing defense.
WHO WILL WIN THE GAME?
The Giants and Redskins are mirror images of one another as they have scored (63) and allowed (94) the same number of points. However, these teams currently in the NFC East basement are trending in opposite directions. In games against division opponents, sometimes it is necessary to throw away all the statistics because history and familiarity. After all, these teams have been playing against each other for almost 90 years. However, the Giants are a better team than the Redskins are in all three phases of the game. MetLife Stadium will be rocking for Jones’ first home start. Washington is coming off a short week where they were embarrassed on national television. The momentum started at Raymond James Stadium will carry over against Washington and the Giants will win the day.