Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Washington Redskins
- QuarterbackThe Giants picked up a victory against the Chiefs, but this has been a miserable season for Big Blue. They lack talent, and veteran Eli Manning can’t do it by himself. Manning is something of an enigma at this point in his career. While he can still make all the throws needed to make big plays, it seems like escaping pressure is not realistic at this point in his career.The Redskins have the better team and they should have plenty of opportunities to make big plays against a Giants defense that has regressed quite a bit this season. QB Kirk Cousins should have the opportunity for a huge day since he is decisive and accurate in his passing and reads defenses so well. If Cousins can hit a couple of big plays early, the Redskins could put this game away.
- OffenseThe Giants are near the bottom of the rankings, and the primary reason for that is the lack of respect opponents have for the running game. While Orleans Darkwa runs with power and effort, he is not going to make game-changing plays. Injuries have prevented the Giants from their expected proficiency in the passing game. TE Evan Engram is an emerging force who can be a red-zone factor.The Redskins have the ability to attack consistently downfield when the offensive line provides Cousins with adequate protection. Chris Thompson was the team’s leading rusher and receiver, but he suffered a fractured fibula against the Saints. The Redskins have not gotten the big plays they were expecting from Jamison Crowder and Terrelle Pryor. That could change against the Giants.
- DefenseThe Giants have failed in every area this season, and this area has been a huge disappointment since they had made such an improvement in 2016. Tackling is a big issue as it looks like the linebackers and secondary have been hesitant to make big hits. Jason Pierre-Paul has tried to deliver a pass rush, but he is not getting enough help from his teammates, who appear to have lost hope.The Redskins have proven to be a hard-hitting unit that is relentless in its pursuit of the ball carrier, but the problem is that they are not always going to be able run down faster offensive players. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is the key to this unit’s success as he is able to put consistent pressure on the quarterback. ILB Zach Brown is the team’s leading tackler, and has been an excellent asset.
- Special TeamsThe Giants have had as many difficulties on special teams as they have on offense and defense, and that’s a big reason for the misery they have endured this season. Rookie PK Aldrick Rosas has had problems all season and lacks consistency, while Brad Wing is an ordinary punter.The Redskins have been outgained significantly on punt returns this year, but head coach Jay Gruden knows that Jamison Crowder is capable of breaking a big play at any time. Nick Rose has done a fine job replacing Dustin Hopkins (hip) since his injury in early October.
This Thanksgiving night game should be a tough NFC East battle between two hated rivals. The likelihood is the Redskins will put this game away early and the Giants will provide little resistance.