Despite both teams struggling this season, there will be some intriguing matchups to watch for when the New York Giants take on Washington.
The New York Giants‘ struggles over the last few seasons have been well documented — the storied franchise is going through some of the darkest times in its history. Since the 2017 season, Big Blue sports the NFL’s worst record at 12-41, which is putrid, to say the least.
However, there’s one team the Giants have gotten the better of during that span — Washington. Big Blue has won four of the last six meetings, including either of the two matchups last year.
As disappointing as the Giants’ 0-5 start has been, if they lose to the one team they’ve had success against, it would be the low point of the season.
Despite the fact that we’re only in the middle of October, these two teams are really just playing for pride and to see who can stay out of the NFC East cellar.
There will be some intriguing matchups to watch for on Sunday that could certainly determine the outcome of this game.
James Bradberry against Terry McLaurin
Washington only has one dynamic playmaker on offense, and that’s second-year wide receiver Terry McLaurin. He leads the Football Team in receptions (29) and receiving yards (413). Washington will have McLaurin lined up on the outside as well as in the slot, an area the Giants have struggled defending.
Cornerback James Bradberry has been the best player for the Giants through the first five games. Last week, he covered Cowboys No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper often and held the star wideout to just two receptions for 23 yards.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has to know that if Washington is going to have any success offensively, it’ll be through McLaurin. It’ll be interesting to see how often Bradberry is lined up against him, and if he can lock him up the way he did Cooper last week, the Giants will emerge victorious.
Andrew Thomas against Chase Young
Perhaps the most interesting matchup to watch for on Sunday is when No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas is lined up across from No. 2 overall pick Chase Young. Some Giants fans were hoping that Big Blue would’ve lost last year’s Week 16 matchup between these two division rivals so that the team could’ve drafted Young.
The Ohio State product was the best pass rusher in the draft and currently leads Washington in sacks with 2.5. Thomas, on the other hand, has had an up-and-down first five weeks of his NFL career.
Young lines up on both sides of the defense and it won’t take long before he’s up against Thomas. All players have pride, and these two rookies know all eyes will be on how they fare against one another.
Evan Engram and Kaden Smith vs Landon Collins
As we saw in last year’s Week 16 matchup, Daniel Jones likes to throw to whomever former Giant Landon Collins is covering. In that game, tight end Kaden Smith caught six passes for 35 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner.
#TBT to 12/22/2019: Washington's final home game as the Redskins. #Giants 41, #Washington 35
Daniel Jones hits Kaden Smith for the 3-yard game winning touchdown in overtime. #GiantsPride pic.twitter.com/rt5SgzgsEc
— Giants Fans Online (@NYGFansOnline) July 16, 2020
Evan Engram didn’t play in that game due to his placement on injured reserve with a foot injury, but his athleticism and quickness will provide difficulties for Collins and the rest of Washington’s secondary.
Last week against the Cowboys, Engram and Smith combined for just two receptions for 23 yards. Expect both to have bigger roles this week, especially when Collins is matched up against them.
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