The New York Giants will look for their second win in a row when Daniel Jones makes his home debut against the winless Washington Redskins.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—The New York Giants will look to win their first home game of the season when they host the (0-3) Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Big Blue comes into this game with newfound confidence, having overcome an 18-point deficit last week against the Buccaneers thanks to their 22-year-old quarterback Daniel Jones, who captured NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Sunday will also be a homecoming for Redskins safety Landon Collins and offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, who will look to spoil Jones’s home debut.
The Giants come into this game a slight favorite but will need to be on their A-game if they’re going to defeat their division rival without their superstar running back Saquon Barkley.
Here are the keys to victory for the Giants:
Get the ball into Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard’s hands
With Barkley out, Jones must get the ball into the hands of his two best playmakers on the field, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. Last week, Engram and Shepard combined for 13 receptions for 213 yards and two touchdowns.
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 24, 2019
The Redskins defense is giving up 260 passing yards per game and has already allowed nine passing touchdowns this season. Jones has to feel confident he can exploit the Redskins secondary, especially on the occasions that Collins is matched against Engram.
Contain Vernon Davis
The Giants inability to covering opposing tight ends has been an ongoing issue for years. With Redskins receiver Terry McLaurin limited all week in practice due to a hamstring injury, tight end Vernon Davis will be a big part of their gameplan on Sunday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 8, 2019
Despite being 35 years of age, Davis still has the speed and athleticism to run past linebackers and safeties. With starting linebackers Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis out due to injuries, rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly, and safeties Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea responsibility to contain Davis.
Run the ball to sustain a balanced attack
Wayne Gallman may not be the dynamic playmaker that Saquon Barkley is, but he has shown that he is a solid NFL running back when he averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry as a rookie in 2017.
Although Gallman’s productivity may not match what you’d expect from Barkley, the Giants can’t abandon the run and have to make sure Gallman get his touches and have a balanced offensive attack. Gallman should get at least 15 carries as he makes his first start of the season.
Get pressure on Case Keenum
Big Blue’s pass rush came alive last week against the Bucs. They sacked Jameis Winston four times and will now look to do the same against Case Keenum.
In their 31-15 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, Keenum was under constant pressure, was sacked four times and threw three interceptions.
With the way the Giants secondary has been struggling, it’s imperative that the front seven helps them out by not allowing Keenum time to find receivers downfield. Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill and Lorenzo Carter are familiar with Ereck Flowers’s flaws from being a teammate of his early last season. They will look to exploit his flaws and find their way to Keenum.
The one knock about Jones’s NFL debut last week was that he fumbled the ball twice. Division games tend to be tight and one turnover could be the difference between victory and defeat.
Jones and the rest Giants need to make sure they don’t turn the ball over on Sunday especially in their own territory.
When Jones was inserted at quarterback last week, it opened up the offense and gave the team a spark. Look for the offense to continue to thrive even without Barkley and for the defense to perform better than it did the three previous weeks.