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2015 Week 3 - Redskins @ Giants

Blognosticator - Goaldege

The Giants. Why did it have to be the Giants?

First of all, Thursday night games are a disaster to predict, full of sloppy and uneven play (thanks Roger!) due to lack of rest. Second, I mean, it’s the Giants. YOU try predicting what will happen. It seems like we have lost a lot more than we’ve won in the last ten years, which is probably because that’s true. The last four belong to them, and if you go back further it doesn’t get a whole lot better: 9 wins for us against them since 2000. That’s too depressing to do more math (spoiler alert: it isn’t a good percentage).

But this year is different. We’re coming off a beatdown of the Rams, a team many had pegged as being on the rise. The Giants are coming off two heartbreaking losses, and have to be a little desperate right now. The Meadowlands have been a horror show for us, and a desperate Giants team bodes poorly for us.

If we look at the statistics, it seems like a pretty straightforward assignment. The Giants suck at pass defense, and are really good at rushing D (ranked 32nd allowing 351 yards/game and 3rd allowing only 68 yards/game, respectively). The Redskins are really good at running the ball (1st in the league, yes, you read that correctly, at 171.5 yards/game) and bad at passing (28th, 189.5 yards/game). So strength against strength and weakness against weakness on that side of the ball, right?

Well, sort of. Dig a little deeper and you can see why the Giants are staying competitive despite apparently having a team full of Amerson’s in the secondary. They are not pressuring the QB well, but are still generating some turnovers, 2 INTs and 1 Fumble thus far, good for 1.5/game. At first blush, the gameplan should appear to be to anticipate the Giants stacking the box and prepare to throw the ball a lot. They are going to want Kirk, NOT Mo-Jo to beat them, so that’s what we should plan for. But we have turned the ball over a fair amount already, and I think Gruden isn’t going to want to put Kirk in that position. I think we will be surprised at the lack of aerial fireworks we will see on Thursday. More on that in a minute.

On the other side of the ball, Eli & Co aren’t turning the ball over (0 turnovers so far); this bad news is compounded by the fact that despite the way our defense is dominating, we aren’t forcing turnovers (1 fumble). This is an area that needs to be stressed this week. I don’t want to see DHall going for the strip while Beckham drags him an additional 10 yards this week mind you, but Barry has surpassed my expectations so far, except in the turnover department, and that will have to change this week.

Fortunately, in the past, Eli has been more than willing to accommodate. I’m calling for a two INT game from Eli, and an additional fumble from someone else. We have been getting a lot of pressure without actually sacking the QB, and I think this is the week that changes. The Giants have given up 3 sacks so far, not a ton, but not negligible either. Pressure Eli, force him to throw off his back foot, and he will make mistakes.

The key to a Washington win is ball control and pressure. If the DLine can force mistakes, and the ground game can continue to dominate, we win. It’s that easy. Those who are anticipating Kirk throwing 30+ times are going to be disappointed I think. The formula has been set, we will adhere to it, and it will continue to work.

Washington 24
NYG 13
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