The New York Giants will need to execute their game plan better than they did in Week 8 to beat the Washington Redskins this time.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—Having won three out of their last four games, the New York Giants will look to ride that momentum into FedEx Field on Sunday as they look to get their first division win against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
When these teams met earlier this season at MetLife Stadium, the Redskins came away with a 20-13 victory.
But these teams will look different on Sunday than they did in Week 8 as the Giants put Landon Collins on IR, and the Redskins are down to their third-string quarterback Mark Sanchez.
You may think the Giants should win easily since Sanchez will be the Redskins quarterback. But division games are never easy, and the Giants will need to execute their game plan much better than they did in October.
Here’s what the Giants need to do to win:
1. Stop Adrian Peterson
In the first matchup of the season, Peterson had a monster game gaining 149 yards on the ground on 26 carries, and had a 64-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that sealed the game for Washington. The Giants know they can’t allow Peterson to have similar success on Sunday as Peterson will play an even bigger prominent role in their offense with third-string quarterback Mark Sanchez starting.
If the Giants can stop or at least contain Peterson to a modest game running the ball, they’ll win.
2. Saquon Barkley going
Every game this season, Barkley has had at least 20 carries the Giants have won. That seems like a simple recipe to follow. The Redskins held Barkley to just 38 rushing yards on 13 carries in Week 8, but that was before the Giants acquired guard Jamon Brown.
Since Brown has been in the lineup, the offensive line has been more efficient especially in terms of running the ball as Barkley has had over 100 yards rushing in the last three games.
Good things happen when Barkley gets the ball, and the Giants need to make sure he has at least 20 carries on Sunday. If Giants number 26 outshines the Redskins number 26, it will pave the way towards victory.
3. Protect Eli Manning
The last time these two teams faced each other, Manning was sacked seven times. Two and half of those sacks were by Matt Ioannidis.
Ioannidis is questionable for Sunday with a shin injury, but whether he plays or not, the Giants must keep Manning upright.
Washington has the 27th-ranked pass defense, and with the Giants getting back Evan Engram after he missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, the Giants can exploit the Redskins weak pass defense if they give Manning time. If Washington can’t get to Manning, he’ll have a huge game.
4. Get the ball in Odell’s hands
Simply put, Odell Beckham Jr. is the spark plug in the Giants’ offense. When the offense is sputtering, Beckham comes up with a big play to give the offense a spark.
This was evident last week against the Bears when his 49-yard touchdown pass to Russell Shepard put the Giants ahead 17-14 and woke up the offense. This week, OBJ will go against his main nemesis in cornerback Josh Norman, so you know he’ll want to have a big came.
Expect the Giants to get heavily involved in the passing game, and also have him run a reverse or perhaps throw another pass.
5. Communicate on defense
The Giants defense will have a huge hole to fill on Sunday and for the remainder of the season as they’ll be without their leader and leading tackler in Landon Collins. Sean Chandler will likely start in Collins place, and it’s imperative he and the rest of the defense communicate so that everybody is in position.
If there’s a lapse in communication, the Redskins could strike for a big play that could change the momentum or outcome of the game.
These two teams have gone in different directions since Week 8. The Giants have won three out of four while the Redskins have lost four out of their last five games. The Giants are the better and healthier team and will get their first division win of the season.