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Washington Redskins vs New York Giants What to Watch

This Sunday, we will see the oldest NFC East rivalry commence once again as the 2-0 New York Giants welcome the winless Washington Redskins into Metlife Stadium for the 169th meeting in an 84-year-old rivalry that dates back to 1932. The Giants are coming into this game currently on a two-game winning streak in which they defeated the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints. On the other hand, the Washington Redskins are coming into this contest currently on a two-game losing streak with losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys. Other than another installment in the Redskins/Giants rivalry, the other major thing that should be watched out for is the Josh Norman/Odell Beckham Jr. squeal as it was reported earlier in the week that Norman will be on Beckham.
Here are five things the Giants need to do in order to go 3-0:
  • Convert on 3rd downs: In their nail-biting win over the Saints last week, the New York Giants were able to convert the ball on third down 46%. On the other hand, the Saints converted the ball only 23% of the time. Due to the Giants being able to convert the ball close to 50% of the game, they also had a better time of possession. I have said this before, a team in the National Football League will usually win the game if they have a better 3rd down conversion rate than their opponents. This will usually lead to a team holding the ball longer and being able to keep their drives alive.
  • Rush the ball more: The Giants seem to be relying on the passing game as of recent. In the first two games against the Saints and the Cowboys, the Giants have 177 rushing yards and over 500 passing yards. You don’t want to become the type of team that is easily predictable for defenses to figure out. Out of all the offensive categories from the first two weeks, the only one that the Giants are doing worse than their opponents is when yards per rushing play. Opponents are getting 3.3 and the Giants are getting 3.2 per carry. You are probably not going to win many games in the National Football League.
  • Put pressure on Cousins- Kirk Cousins is an interesting case when it comes to starting quarterbacks who face the New York Giants. He is both a mobile quarterback and an in-the-pocket style quarterback. In- the- pocket quarterbacks don’t like it when you put pressure on them because then it ends up forcing them to make bad throws. If you’re the Giants, you want to put pressure on Cousins.
  • Don’t sleep on the Redskins- Although on paper it looks the easy game for the New York Giants, they should not feel like that. If the Giants do so happen to win on Sunday, they will be 2-0 in the division which will go in their way by the end of the season. If you want to do well, you need to treat every opponent the same way. You have a hungry Redskins team that is clamoring for their first win of the season after they lost to the Cowboys last Sunday.
  • Stick to your gameplan- The New York Giants are 2-0 in the early goings of the 2016 season and many football people are expecting them to do wonderful this season. I would say with a few changeups to put the Washington defense on their toes, stick to what has gotten you to where you are now.

New York Giants keys courtesy of Jon Blayne.

Redskins Keys

It’s week 3. The standard is beginning to be set. Each team is forming their identity for the season. For the Washington Redskins the week 3 opponent is the New York Giants. Last week the Redskins lost to a division opponent. What can the Redskins do this week to not have a repeat performance? Let’s take a look at the 5 keys to this week’s game.

Penalties. The Redskins have had their fair share of penalties through 2 games.  If Washington can minimize the penalties they have a very solid chance of winning this game. This has been a common mantra since Jay Gruden has been here. Redskins teams have always been undisciplined when it come to penalties. They will need to get this under control if they want to get back to their winning ways.

Play Calling. The play calling for Sean McVay and the offense has not been very good in the first 2 weeks. Last week between the 20s it got better. However, inside the red zone is critical. McVay and Cousins need to be better at calls and audibles. There needs to be a better effort to run the ball as well. If they can get back t a balanced formula they will have better success.

Defense. The defense must be able to put pressure on Eli Manning and force him into mistakes early. If they are able to minimize the big play and cause a couple of early turnovers this will take the Giants away from what they want to do early. Given the Redskins recent lapses in pass coverage, I expect the Giants to try and spread the field. They are more likely to try and test the secondary. Josh Norman should be on Odell Beckam Jr. Reports have Norman on OBJ except for when he is lined up in the slot. Norman is Washington’s best corner. He should follow the best all afternoon.

Run game. The Washington Redskins showed more success in the run game in week 2. However, they still need to place more attention on it. Running the for 28 times in 2 games is not an answer for success. The Redskins are going to have t be strong up front. The Giants front 4 is currently playing in beast mode. In order for there to be any success on offense, the Redskins must stay committed to the run game. It should be a quantity, not quality focus.

Kirk Cousins. Cousins is 3rd in the NFL in passing yardage. The main reason for this is because of the Redskins having to play from behind in the 1st 2 games. In order to get Cousins relaxed, the Redskins need to run the ball. This should lead to opportunities in the passing game. I would like to see Cousins take a couple of deep shots. Just to keep the Giants defense honest. I look for Kirk Cousins to have a solid game.

This is a huge game with early season implications. The Redskins do not want to fall to 0-3. They would also fall 2 games behind the New York Giants with a loss. There needs to some added urgency. Always HTTR!

Washington Redskins keys courtesy of Sean Naylor.

Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com