Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Washington Redskins
- QuarterbackThe Giants hope that they can ignite their offense by going on the road against a divisional opponent. Eli Manning finally got it going a bit in Week Three against the Texans, and the Giants need him to keep it going or they will have another lost season. If he can get better protection from his offensive line, he has a chance to find his rhythm on short- and medium-range passes.The Redskins had confidence in their 1-2 quarterback punch of Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins during training camp, and that strong feeling about their backup quarterback was well-founded. Cousins had to step in for RGIII in Week Two after the starter’s ankle dislocation, and he has filled in admirably. Cousins is an accurate passer who finds open receivers and rarely throws into double-coverage.
- OffenseThe Giants would like to keep their running game going with Rashad Jennings, and he had an explosive 176-yard effort in the win over Houston. Victor Cruz is the Giants’ big-play hope, while Rueben Randle is a tall, rangy receiver who can make the big catch in traffic. Tight end Larry Donnell has been a surprise performer with good hands.The Redskins don’t have the game-breaking speed that a lot of NFL teams have at the skill position, but head coach Jay Gruden believes they have the versatility to mount a consistent attack. Running back Alfred Morris is a hard-running power back who can keep the chains moving, while Pierre Garcon knows how to get open and make the key catch.
- DefenseThe Giants have gotten off to a mediocre start on defense, but if defensive ends Mathias Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul can find a way to turn up the pressure and get to the quarterback, they have a chance to play much better football. Middle linebacker Jameel McClain is a solid tackler who knows how to position himself. Cornerback Prince Amukamara is a an excellent cover man.The Redskins have played very impressively on the defensive side of the ball through the early part of the season. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is one of the best pass rushers in the game, and he had a 4.0 sacks in Washington’s Week Two victory over Jacksonville. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall can be a game-changer, but he is also a gambler who puts his team at risk.
- Special TeamsThe Giants should have a distinct advantage over the Redskins on special teams. They have not done much with their special teams, but the Redskins are vulnerable in that area. Steve Weatherford has a strong leg and he is capable of flipping field position in favor of the Giants.Special teams hit the Redskins hard in Week Three when they gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown to the Eagles. Andre Roberts is an ordinary return man and unlikely to break any big plays. Tress Way has decent leg strength, but the Redskins are below average in punt coverage.
The Redskins would like to establish consistency on their home field, and they have a chance to do just that against a Giants team that appears destined to struggle throughout the season. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports