The New York Giants and Washington Redskins meet for a 3-11 clash in Week 16 with a few key storylines to follow throughout.
- New York Giants (3-11)
- Washington Redskins (3-11)
- NFL, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
- FedEx Field, Landover, MD
The New York Giants will play their final road game of the season when they travel to Landover, MD to take on the Washington Redskins this Sunday. The game will likely decide who will finish dead last in the NFC East.
There’s little intrigue leading into this game. Some fans would prefer their team to lose in order to better their chances of drafting Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young. Many NFL Draft pundits are calling the current Buckeye a generational talent.
Draft position isn’t the only factor to keep an eye on, though. In this game, there will be several storylines to follow.
Who will play better, Daniel Jones or Dwayne Haskins?
Daniel Jones is back in the starting lineup after missing the previous two games with a high ankle sprain. Sunday will mark the first matchup between Jones and Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins when both are in their respective starting lineups.
Haskins saw his first NFL action in Washington’s Week 4 loss to the Giants. He relieved Case Keenum during the second quarter and played poorly, completing nine of his 17 passes for 107 yards and three picks.
Jones didn’t fair too well himself. The Duke University product had an up-and-down game, going 23-for-31 with 225 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
The careers of Jones and Haskins will forever be linked together. They play in the same division and were taken in the same draft class. Many Giants fans actually wanted Big Blue to draft Haskins over Jones. Whether they like it or not, neither one of them will be able to escape comparisons to one another.
Much will be made of their play on Sunday. Fans will analyze and dissect who they feel will have a better career, which may lead to some unfair decisions about either quarterback’s future.
Can Saquon Barkley have his first 100-yard rushing game with Jones at QB?
Saquon Barkley has been more effective with Eli Manning under center. All three of Barkley’s 100-yard games this season have come with the longtime veteran in the starting lineup. He’s averaging 101.3 rushing yards in four games with Manning. In the seven games he’s played with Jones, Barkley’s averaging just 45.3 yards.
Some of the discrepancies in production can be attributed to Barkley recovering from his high ankle sprain. Even so, it’s possible that it could also be Manning making the right audibles at the line of scrimmage.
It’s imperative that Barkley is able to play at his 2018 form with Jones on the field. These are the two most important players when you consider the future of this franchise.
The Redskins run defense has struggled all season. They’re currently allowing 136.4 rushing yards-per-game. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see if Barkley can finally break the century mark with Jones at quarterback.
Will Markus Golden reach double-digit sacks?
Markus Golden has been one of the bright spots of the Giants defense this season. He’s fifth on the team in tackles (60) and leads the team in sacks (nine).
If he’s able to pressure and bring down Dwayne Haskins, Golden will become the first Giant since Jason Pierre-Paul to have double-digit sacks in a season. JPP achieved that mark when he racked up 12.5 sacks in 2014. It would be quite an accomplishment considering many questioned Golden’s signing.
The Giants inked Golden to a one-year deal this past offseason. With the way he’s played this season, the Giants should bring him back in 2020 if the price is right.
Can the Giants’ young corners contain Terry McLaurin?
Last week against the Dolphins, Giants cornerbacks Deandre Baker, Sam Beal, and Corey Ballentine played their best game of the season. They didn’t have any blown coverages that went for big gains, which was a huge plus for them.
This week, they’ll face an up-and-coming receiver in rookie Terry McLaurin. The Redskins passing game relies heavily on the first-year player. He leads the team in receptions (51), receiving yards (833), and receiving touchdowns (7).
If Big Blue’s defensive backs can contain McLaurin or even force him to be a non-factor, New York will likely come away with the win.