Daniel Jones
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are in desperate need of a victory.

Just a few short weeks following a 6-1 start, Big Blue has lost three of four and is struggling to stay afloat in the competitive NFC East. Not only that — the offensive line and secondary are both ravaged by injuries and the run game has essentially been non-existent the last few weeks.

And to make matters worse: the red-hot Commanders, who have won six of seven, are entering MetLife Stadium Sunday.

This is an absolute must-win for head coach Brian Daboll’s team, which would fall to the basement of the NFC East with a loss to Washington.

Can the Giants right the wrongs and avoid a third consecutive loss?

Giants vs. Commanders

When: Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.
Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET.
Radio: WFAN.

Giants’ keys to victory

Pressure Heinicke. Taylor Heinicke is a winning quarterback for the Commanders, but he’s still prone to making mistakes. The Giants, despite fielding an inexperienced and unhealthy secondary, must unleash their pass rushers to limit Heinicke’s time in the pocket.

Take out the run. If the Giants’ defense is going to hold its own, the unit must take out the run and force Washington to win through the air. While the Commanders are 15th in the NFL with 121.1 rushing yards per game, they’re just 23rd with 203.8 passing yards per game.

Take out the strength and make Washington rely on one of its weaknesses.

Get Saquon going. Running back Saquon Barkley has rushed for just 61 yards on 26 carries over the last two games (both losses). The offense needs to establish the run game, which was a huge reason why the Giants got off to a 6-1 start. Constructing long drives and taking pressure off quarterback Daniel Jones has been the key for the Giants’ offense all year, and that shouldn’t change against Washington.


Daniel Jones.

This is a meaningful NFC East game against the red-hot Commanders in the cold East Rutherford weather, with a playoff spot eventually up for grabs.

The kid needs to respond in a huge way. Not only would a great performance be big for the team on Sunday — it would also go a long way toward Jones proving he’s the answer at quarterback past 2022.

Did you know?

Jones has actually dominated Washington in his young career. In five starts (4-1 record), Jones has nine touchdowns, three picks, 230.0 average passing yards per game, a 68.4% completion rate, and a 100.4 passer rating.

So with a shaky career that’s included injuries, multiple coaching changes, and a ton of turnovers, Jones has been a little bit of a kryptonite for the Commanders.

Let’s see if that success continues this weekend.

The pick

The Giants’ offensive line has been banged up and they haven’t been able to run the ball as effectively. Washington’s defense is eighth in the NFL against the run.

The Giants’ passing game is fifth-worst in the NFL. The Commanders’ defense is 10th against the pass.

The Giants are still ravaged by injuries and have lost three of their last four games. Washington is one of the hottest teams in football, has won six of its last seven, and now sits in the current NFC playoff picture (as do the Giants).

All signs are pointing toward a Giants loss this Sunday. It’ll be close and competitive, but the Commanders should get the edge. Commanders 23, Giants 17.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.