The New York Giants will need to execute several keys if they want to defeat the Washington Redskins at FexEx Field in Week 16.
The New York Giants have a rare opportunity on Sunday when they travel to Washington to take on the Redskins: sweep a season series against a divisional opponent. The Giants haven’t swept a season series since they accomplished the feat against Dallas Cowboys in 2016.
Some fans would prefer a Giants loss to enhance their chances of drafting Ohio State’s Chase Young. But Giants’ ownership, Pat Shurmur and the players don’t have that mentality. They will, of course, take the field looking to do whatever it takes to win and finish the season strong.
Here’s what they’ll need to do in order to win:
The Giants have turned the ball over 31 times this season, which is tied for 30th in the league. Daniel Jones, who is back as the starter after missing the past two games with a high ankle sprain, has committed 21 turnovers on the season. Jones and the rest of the Giants must make sure they hold onto the ball on Sunday.
The Giants are the better team and if they win the turnover battle, they’ll come away with the win.
Establish the run
The Redskins defense has been vulnerable all year, giving up 136.4 yards per game on the ground. In their Week 4 matchup—a Giants victory—New York gained 164 yards on the ground on 37 carries without Saquon Barkley. The Giants game plan, once again, needs to establish the run and make sure Barkley has at least 20 carries.
Pressure Dwayne Haskins
In the eight games he’s played this season, Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been sacked 27 times. The Redskins offensive line, which includes former Giant Ereck Flowers, has given up 45 sacks this season.
Haskins is completing just 56.9% of his passes this season, and when he’s pressured, he’s even more inaccurate. The Giants’ front seven, which includes Markus Golden, who leads the team in sacks with nine, needs to pressure Haskins often and get the rookie quarterback flustered.
Contain Terry McLaurin
Haskins’s favorite target is a fellow rookie and former Ohio State teammate, Terry McLaurin. For the season, McLaurin has 51 receptions for 833 yards and seven touchdowns. Haskins will look for McLaurin often on Sunday, as no other Redskin has 400 receiving yards.
The Giants’ young secondary needs to take McLaurin out of the game and force Haskins to throw to someone else. If McLaurin is a non-factor on Sunday, the Giants will win.
Get the ball to Darius Slayton
McLaurin isn’t the only outstanding rookie receiver that will be on the field on Sunday. Darius Slayton leads the Giants in receiving yards with 690, and receiving touchdowns, with eight.
Slayton has become a complete receiver with his footwork and game-breaking speed. He’ll be able to exploit a Washington secondary that has given up 26 touchdowns this season.
Jones might be rusty to start the game, having missed the previous two games. But eventually, he and the offense will get rolling and sweep the season series against the Redskins.