Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Washington Redskins At New York Giants

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins passes against the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    The Redskins have dropped two winnable games at home and they find themselves in a bit of a hole already. That means there is significant pressure on head coach Jay Gruden to turn things around and expect the coach to put the heat on Kirk Cousins to give the Redskins a bit more than he has so far. Cousins has a decent arm and he can find the open receiver.
    The Giants were unable to win close games last year, but they are 2-0 already this year in games decided by three points or less. However, Eli Manning struggled to get anything going against a New Orleans defense that he abused last year. Manning completed 32-of-41 passes for 368 yards against the Saints, but he did not have a TD pass.
  • Offense
    The Redskins would like to give the Giants something to think about with their ground game, and Matt Jones is coming off a 61-yard effort against the Cowboys. If Jones can keep the Giants defense off balance, that should make things easier for wideout Pierre Garcon. Tight end Jordan Reed has remarkable hands and is a top red zone weapon.
    The Giants were unable to get much of a ground game going against the Saints, and that was one of the reasons they were unable to score an offensive touchdown. Shane Vereen is a bigger threat as a receiver than he is as a runner. Odell Beckham had a couple of key drops against the Redskins, and that could be problematic. Victor Cruz is back and making big plays.
  • Defense
    The Redskins are a hard-hitting defensive team and they like to use their power to assert themselves and punish their opponents. While the Redskins have plenty of toughness, they don’t have the speed and quickness of some defensive teams, and that could be costly against a team with fine receivers like the Giants. Ryan Kerrigan can get to the passer and so can linebacker Trent Murphy.
    The Giants appear to a be a much-improved defensive team this season after ranking 32nd in yards allowed in 2015. The Giants added Oliver Vernon, Damon Harrison and Janoris Jenkins in the offseason, and Jenkins scored the team’s only TD vs. New Orleans when he returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown. Rookie Eli Apple has excellent coverage skills and is a fine tackler.
  • Special Teams
    The Redskins had a fine year on special teams in 2015, but they had been quite poor in that area prior to last year’s improvement. Tress Way is a decent directional punter but he does not have a lot of leg strength.
    The Giants were able to get excellent on a first-half New Orleans FG attempt and that block turned into a touchdown and the opening points in the game. Speedy Dwayne Harris is a fine returner who gives the Giants a legitimate big-play threat
The Giants have not played extremely well early in the season, but they have gotten off to a 2-0 start. Conversely, the Redskins have not been awful, but they are 0-2. The Redskins have to pick it up here if they are going to get their first win of the season.