The New York Giants have an opportunity to secure their first win of 2020. Here’s what they need to do to make that a reality.
For the fourth consecutive season, the New York Giants season is all but over before Halloween. Yes, they’re only two games out of first place in the putrid NFC East, but nobody believes they can win enough over the last 11 games of the season to make it to the playoffs.
After all, the Giants are still in search of their first win of the season. But there’s a good chance they can pick up that elusive first victory against Washington.
Washington is the lone team in the NFC East the Giants have had success against over the last several seasons. They’ve won four out of the last six meetings and three in a row.
The Giants head into Sunday’s matchup as a slight home favorite. Here’s what they’ll need to do in order to win.
Daniel Jones must play better
Simply put, Daniel Jones has regressed since his rookie season as he hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 1. It’s true the offensive line has struggled and Jason Garrett’s play-calling has been questionable.
But that’s no excuse for Jones staring down receivers and turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Sunday’s game could be low scoring so it’s imperative Jones takes care of the ball.
Help the offensive tackles
The strength of Washington’s team is their defensive front seven and in particular their edge rushers Montez Sweat and rookie Chase Young. The two have combined for 5.5 sacks this season
Tackles Andrew Thomas and Cam Fleming have had their share of struggles this season and Sunday won’t be a picnic for them going against Sweat and Young. If Thomas and Fleming struggle on Sunday, the Giants must give them help by having a tight end or running back stay in to pass block.
Calling screen plays and draws is another way to slow down the pass rush. The Giants have to make sure Sweat and Young don’t wreck their offensive game plan.
Make someone other than Terry McLaurin beat you
Wide receiver Terry McLaurin is by far Washington’s best offensive weapon. He leads the team in receptions (29) and receiving yards (413). No other player on Washington has more than 124 receiving yards.
Cut up of Terry McLaurin vs the Cardinals. Worth noting he's not always part of the read on some of these plays, but wanted to highlight how often he beat coverage. Gave Patrick Peterson a tough game. #WashingtonFootball have a stud WR in McLaurin. pic.twitter.com/PV461N9h4m
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) September 22, 2020
Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham knows this. He will likely put cornerback James Bradberry on him, but if not, he’ll need to come up with a gameplan that keeps McLaurin quiet.
Pressure Kyle Allen
The Giants are down two pass rushers in Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines. This week they’re facing a shaky Washington offensive line that’s already surrendered 21 sacks on the season.
Markus Golden should see more playing time this week with Carter and Ximines on IR. He and the rest of the front seven must put constant pressure on Washington quarterback Kyle Allen who left last week’s game against the Rams early after a hit from Jalen Ramsey.
Win the turnover battle
As we mentioned before, this game could be a low-scoring contest as defense is a strength of both teams. So the game could come down to which defense plays better and forces turnovers. The Giants can ill-afford to lose the turnover battle on Sunday.
Prediction: If the Giants don’t win on Sunday, general manager Dave Gettleman’s hot seat will get even hotter. Fortunately for Gettleman, the Giants are slightly more talented than Washington and Big Blue will get their first win of the season. Giants 20, Washington 17