Game Preview, Week 12: Giants at Redskins
by Steve Thomas and Sean Conte
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I wish I could bring better news for the holidays, but the simple fact is that the result of Redskins losses in the previous two weeks is that our favorite team is completely out of leeway if they still have any hope of a playoff spot. This week’s game against the New York Giants is a must-win game in every sense of the word. The Giants are only 2-8 and are traveling to Washington, and the Redskins are 0 – 3 in the NFC East so far. Please don’t come out flat, Redskins – the team desperately needs a solid manhandling of the floundering Giants in order to keep the season on life support. Unfortunately, though, the injury situation this week has gone from “incredibly bad” to “lowest floor of hell” bad, with multiple starters having their seasons ended, including Chris Thompson, Spencer Long, Shawn Lauvao, and Terrelle Pryor, Sr. But really – if there’s a team to play in this sort of crisis situation, it’s the 2017 New York Giants. You have no excuse, Redskins. This needs to be a big, easy, injury-free win. Here’s this week’s preview.
Game time & location: Thursday, November 23, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET, Fed Ex Field, Raljon, MD; Parking lots open at 12:00 p.m.; gates open at 6:30 p.m.
DC-area radio: ESPN 980
Redskins radio network: http://www.redskins.com/media-gallery/radio-network.html
Giants radio network: http://www.giants.com/games-and-schedules/broadcast-information.html
Satellite radio: XM: 83/88 (Redskins broad./Nat’l broad.) Sirius: 83/88 (Redskins broad./Nat’l broad); internet: 831 (Redskins broad.)
Redskins roster: http://www.redskins.com/team/roster.hml
Redskins depth chart: http://www.redskins.com/team/depth-chart.html
Giants roster: http://www.giants.com/team/roster.html
Giants depth chart: http://www.giants.com/team/depth-chart.html
All-time head-to-head record vs Giants: 66 – 98 – 4 (last 10: 3 – 7)
Last meeting: L, January 1, 2017, 10 – 19
Early odds: Redskins, -9
SEAN’S 5 KEYS TO THE GAME
After two straight weeks of embarrassing losses, the Redskins have to win this one against a struggling New York team, right? Right.
Keep the Offensive Pace from Last Week
The Redskins scored in every quarter last week, piling 31 great, though ultimately insufficient, points on the Saints defense. If they can keep that pace going this week against New York, they’ll be in great shape. In total defense, New York is ranked 31st. They’re poorly ranked against the run and the pass alike, so that should help open things up.
Defensive Aggression Should Pay Dividends
Eli Manning’s offensive line is almost as depleted as our own. For some reason, the Chiefs chose not to exploit that this week to their own peril, gifting the Giants with their second win of the season. If we can generate pressure against Manning consistently, we should be in great shape, especially because deep threat pro-bowler Odell Beckham Jr. is on injured reserve. Kerrigan and the guys up front should find pay dirt this week.
Watch for Shenanigans
Turns out, Washington isn’t the only team in the NFC East to pull off a fake punt run last week; the Giants did too. They also dialed up some option plays and strange formations along the offensive line. As others have noted, the Giants aren’t a stacked team on offense and these are the sorts of gimmicks they’ll need to rely on for the rest of the season. We’ll need to be aware of that.
Limit the Critical Mistakes
We simply cannot undo strong play with avoidable penalties. That means no hands to the face, no false starts that back us out of scoring range, and no errant throws by Kirk that end up directly in the opposing CB’s bread basket. He’s been playing well recently, but he’s now lucked out for multiple consecutive weeks with opposing defenses dropping catchable INTs. We are a team that is fully capable of beating itself. Let’s not.
Serve it up to Doctson and Davis
With Terrelle Pryor, Sr. and Chris Thompson out and Jordan Reed questionable (at least at this point in the week), is there any doubt who needs to shoulder much of the offensive workload this week? At the same time, utilizing Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, and Jeremy Sprinkle should help keep some of the heat off our workhorses. The game will be won by those guys. Considering how poor the Giants are against the run, however, could mean another breakout game for Perine.
SEAN’S 3 KEY MATCHUPS
Kerrigan and Brown vs. Hart and Jerry
Josh Norman vs. King and/or Lewis
No one in the Giants’ receiving corps is a legitimate weapon, so this should be an easy week for our guys in coverage. It’s really hard to type that knowing the Redskins are fully capable of making anyone look like a world beater, but there you have it.
McAdoo vs. Manusky
It might just be a battle of the minds this week, as two teams with questionable talent on both sides of the ball face off. McAdoo got creative last week and it worked out. Can Manusky keep up? Just remember: nothing has been more dangerous to the Redskins in recent years than a Giants team with nothing to lose.
SEAN CUTS TO THE CHASE
The Redskins nearly cause heart attacks across the DC region by letting this one stay closer than it has any right to be, but ultimately they come through. 24 – 13, Redskins.
OFFICIAL INJURY REPORT (as of Friday (active roster only)) (starters in bold)
LP – limited practice FP – full practice DNP – did not practice
NIR – not injury related Q – questionable O – out
D – doubtful
|LB Z. Brown, achilles; Mon: DNP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q||G D.J. Fluker, toe; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: O|
|G S. Lauvao, stinger; Mon: DNP; Tues: to IR||LB B.J. Goodson, ankle; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: O|
|C S. Long, knee/knee; Mon: DNP ; Tues: to IR||DT D. Harrison, ankle; Mon: DNP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q|
|DL T. McClain, toe; Mon: DNP ; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: O||LB C. Munson, quad; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: D|
|S M. Nicholson, concussion; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: O||OL J. Pugh, back; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: O|
|WR T. Pryor, ankle; Mon: DNP; Tues: to IR||DE O. Vernon, shoulder; Mon: DNP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q|
|TE J. Reed, hamstring; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: O||RB O. Darkwa, hamstring; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP|
|C. Roullier, hand; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: O||DE J. Pierre-Paul, knee; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP|
|LB M. Spaight, ankle; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: Q||WR S. Shepard, illness; Mon: LP; Tues: DNP; Wed: DNP; game: Q|
|RB C. Thompson, fibula; Mon: DNP; Tues: to IR||LB K. Sheppard, groin; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q|
|T. Williams, knee; Mon: DNP; Tues: DNP; ; Wed: DNP; game: Q||DT D. Tomlinson, ankle; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP|
|LB R. Anderson, knee; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q||LB J. Casillas, neck; Mon: not listed; Tues: not listed; Wed: FP; game: Q|
|DL M. Ioannidis, hand/thigh; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q||LS Z. DeOssie, trap; Mon: not listed; Tues: not listed; Wed: FP; game: Q|
|DL A. Lanier II, knee; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q|
|T M. Moses, eye/ankle/ankle; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q|
|T. Nsekhe, core muscle; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q|
|RB S. Perine, finger; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q|
|G B. Scherff, knee; Mon: LP; Tues: LP; Wed: LP; game: Q|
|TE V. Davis, back; Mon: FP; Tues: FP; Wed: FP|
|CB Q. Dunbar, illness; Mon: FP; Tues: FP; Wed: FP|
|WR B. Quick, concussion; Mon: FP; Tues: FP; Wed: FP|
Not that it mattered in the end, but the Redskins offense numbers actually took a big step up as a result of the New Orleans game. They remain mid-pack in points scored, but are now top 10 in total yards, yards per game, and passing yards. The rushing statistics also took an uptick, rising from “awful” to “less awful” as a result of Samaje Perine’s 100 yard day. The one area in which the Redskins continue to be substantially better than the 2016 team is in red zone efficiency – Washington is ranked 9th with 59.38% of drives into the red zone resulting in touchdowns. With leading receiver and rushing Chris Thompson now out for the season, the Redskins will have to turn to someone else to continue to generate yards and scores. Kirk Cousins continues to have a fairly impressive statistical season despite the injuries and lack of talent around him, and in fact is 7th in QB rating, at 101.8.
Defensively, the Redskins plummeted across the board as a result of the recent losses, and are now 31st in the NFL in points allowed, 24th in total yards allowed, 25th in passing yards allowed, and 19th in rushing yards allowed. While recognizing that the team has been hit by an unbelievable number of injuries, nonetheless, this defense has not performed substantially better than the 2016 team in any area except run defense. Fortunately, the New York Giants might just be a “get well soon” present in this regard.
Record 4 – 6 (3rd) (Home: 2 – 4; NFC: 3 – 5; NFC East: 0 – 3)
All-time franchise record: 590 – 578 – 28
|Offensive rankings||12 (points) (trend even) / 9 (total yards) (trend +6) / 9 (yards per game) (trend +4) / 8 (yards per play) (trend +3) / 7 (passing yards) (trend +2) / 4 (passing yards per att.) (trend +1) / 18 (rushing yards) (trend +6) / 23 (rushing yards per att.) (trend -1)|
|Yards per game||359.4|
|345 att (15th); 230 comp; 66.7% comp per. (6th); 8.1 Y/A; 2568 net yds; 17 TD; 5 Int|
|Passing leader||Cousins (345 att, 2796 yds (3rd), 66.7% comp perc., 17 TDs / 5 Int, 101.8 QB rating (7th)|
|Receiving leader||Thompson (510 yds (39th), 54 targets (57th), 39 rec (45th), 4 TDs, 13.1 Y/C)|
|Rushing||265 att (17th); 1026 yds; 3.9 Y/A; 102.6 Y/G (18th); 9 TD|
|Rushing leader||Perine (89 att, 327 yds (40th), 1 TD, 3.7 Y/A, long 30)|
|Sacks surrendered / rank||25 / 17th|
|Ave time of possession / rank||30:40 / 12|
|3rd down conversion rate / rank||36.7% / 22|
|TD percentage in red zone / rank||59.38% / 9|
|Defensive rankings||31 (points) (trend -5) / 24 (total yards) (trend -4) / 24 (yards per game surrendered) (trend -4) / 26 (yards per play) (trend -5) / 25 (passing yards) (trend -8) / 25 (passing yards per att.) (trend -4) / 19 (rushing yards) (trend -6) / 22(rushing yards per att.) (trend -5)|
|Yards per game surrendered||363.6|
|Opponent’s passing||341 att (15th); 215 comp; 63.0% comp perc. (18th); 7.7 Y/A; 2490 net yds; 18 TDs; QB Rating 91.0 (17th)|
|Opponent’s rushing||264 att (15th); 1146 yds; 4.3 Y/A; 8 TD; 114.6 Y/G (19th)|
|Sacks / rank / Sack leader||24 / 16 / Kerrigan (7.0)|
|Tackles leader||Brown (67)|
|Int / rank / Int leader||11 / 7 / Fuller, Swearinger (3)|
|Opponent 3rd down conv rate / rank||41.98% / 23|
|Opponent TD percentage in red zone / rank||63.64% / 28|
|Kick returns||20.8 Y/R (22nd), 15 returns, long 29 yards, 0 TDs|
|Punt returns||5.0 Y/R (31st), 15 returns, long 18 yards (28th), 0 TD|
|Kick return defense||19.7 Y/R (8th), 17 returns, 0 TD|
|Punt return defense||10.0 Y/R (24th), 20 returns, 0 TD|
|Punting||45.0 Y/P (17th)|
Turnovers (lost by O / recv’d by D / net / rank): 15 / 15 / 0 / 18
Penalties (total accepted # / rank): 56 / 2
The Giants offense has produced atrocious results. Granted, much like the Redskins, they had a large number of injuries, but right now, New York has only scored 162 points on the season, which is 30th in the NFL. Eli Manning continues to Eli, with a 63.6% completion percentage and an 87.0 QB rating. Orleans Darkwa is the player who has produced the most this season, in limited action, with 4.8 yards per carry on just 101 attempts.
New York’s defense is no better than the offense, statistically, with bottom 10 or even bottom 5 rankings in almost ever major category. Ironically, the most important stat, points, is the one area that is less than terrible for the Giants, at 21st in the NFL. In other areas, though, it’s been awful: total yards (31st), passing yards (29th), rushing yards (30th), sacks (32nd), third down conversions (27th). The Giants’ sole redeeming quality is toughness in the red zone (ranked 12th).
Record: 2 – 8 (4th) (Away: 1 – 4; NFC: 0 – 7; NFC East: 0 – 2)
|Offensive rankings||30 (points) / 24 (total yards) / 24 (yards per game) / 21 (yards per play) / 19 (passing yards) / 29 (passing yards per att.) / 26 (rushing yards) / 18 (rushing yards per att.)|
|Yards per game||308.5|
|Passing||371 att (7th); 234 comp; 63.1% comp per. (10th); 6.2 Y/A; 2165 net yds; 14 TDs; 7 Int|
|Passing leader||Manning (368 att, 2298 yds (12th), 63.6% comp per., 14 TDs / 6 Int, 87.0 QB rating (21st))|
|Reception leader||Shepard (475 yds (45th), 51 targets, 38 rec, 1 TD, 12.5 Y/C); Engram (452 yds, 78 targets, 41 rec (37th), 5 TD, 11.0 Y/C)|
|Rushing||230 att (29th); 920 yds; 4.0 Y/A; 92.0 Y/G (26th); 3 TDs|
|Rushing leader||Darkwa (101 att, 489 yds (19th), 2 TDs, 4.8 Y/A (7th), long 47 yds)|
|Sacks surrendered / rank||22 / 11|
|Ave time of possession / rank||28:02 / 29|
|3rd down conversion rate / rank||34.1% / 29|
|TD percentage in red zone / rank||54.17% / 15|
|Defensive rankings||21 (points) / 31 (total yards) / 31 (yards per game surrendered) / 28 (yards per play) / 29 (passing yards) / 25 (passing yards per att.) / 30 (rushing yards) / 23 (rushing yards per att.)|
|Yards per game surrendered||396.6|
|Opponent’s passing||354 att (24th); 221 comp; 62.4% comp per. (16th); 7.7 Y/A; 2639 net yds; 20 TD; QB Rating 96.6 (26th)|
|Opponent’s rushing||303 att (30th); 1327 yds; 4.4 Y/A; 9 TD|
|Sacks / rank / Sack leader||14 / 32 / Pierre-Paul (4.5)|
|Tackles leader||Collins (49)|
|Int / rank / Int leader||7 / 21 / Collins, Jenkins (2)|
|Opponent 3rd down conv rate / rank||42.75% / 27|
|Opponent TD percentage in red zone / rank||48.57% / 12|
|Kick returns||20.4 Y/R (23rd), 16 returns, long 30 yards, 0 TDs|
|Punt returns||5.8 Y/R (25th), 13 returns, long 20 yards (26th), 0 TDs|
|Kick return defense||22.9 Y/R (22nd), 19 returns, 0 TDs|
|Punt return defense||11.6 Y/R (31st), 27 returns, 1 TD|
|Punting||44.2 Y/P (24th)|
Turnovers (lost by O / recv’d by D / net / rank): 12 / 12 / 0 / 18
Penalties (total accepted # / rank): 59 / 5