Last week, the Giants finally broke through, pummeling an over-matched Tennessee Titans team by a score of 36-7. In doing so, the team hit on all five of the Giants360 keys to victory for the first time this season and it showed. Way back in olden times, September 25th to be exact, the Giants dismantled another opponent, the Washington Redskins, 45-14. It was the signature victory of the season and had many believing that this team would compete for the playoffs. The wheels fell off two weeks later, and neither of these teams is a contender as the meet for the divisional rematch.
Another game the Giants should win, they are favored by more than a touchdown. Here’s how they can do it:
- Protect the Football. The Titans only points came on an interception return for a touchdown. Give any NFL team a short field and easy points, and they will capitalize. The Giants need to create turnovers, not provide them and capitalize when they are created. Washington is 29th in the NFL with a -9 turnover margin, tied with New Orleans. Bringing them to -12 should assure a victory.
Stop the Run. The Redskins average 4.18 yards per carry, 13th in the NFL. Often behind in games, they rank 22nd with 103.31 yards per game. If Alfred Morris gets going, he’s capable of controlling the clock and the game against the Giants defense that is still 30th in the league despite holding Tennessee to just 61 yards last week.
- Throw the Ball. Washington’s pass defense is atrocious, ranking dead last with a reverse passer rating of only 51.48. If the Redskins pass defense was a quarterback it would be more horrific than Geno Smith. The Giants need to take advantage and throw, throw, throw. While Washington gives up only 237.46 yards per game, they have surrendered an astonishing 28 passing touchdowns through 13 games and intercepted only 5 passes.
- Protect Eli Manning. Manning can’t pick apart the Redskins putrid secondary if he doesn’t have time to pass. Washington averages 2.5 sacks per game, and one sack every 12.18 pass attempts. The Giants offensive line made it through last week’s game unscathed and needs to provide protection and pocket for Manning to step up into and find his receivers.
- Throw it to Beckham. Odell Beckham is making a push for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Playing on a non-contender will work against him, but the New York media market and his highlight reel catch on Sunday Night Football serve to promote his cause. Continuing to feature him early and often in game plans despite opponents making adjustments to take him away will push the rookie over the top. Throw it to Beckham. And keep throwing it to him until they stop it, which, based on the Redskins pass defense this season, might not happen at all tomorrow.
Prediction: The Giants continue to play hard and tow the line for Tom Coughlin and will provide him with a strong on field statement of support by winning their second straight game. The quality of opponent increases dramatically over the season’s final two games, so this could be Coughlin’s last win as Giants head coach. Giants360 expects him to be retained next season, but nothing is certain the the NFL. Except, of course, that following our Keys to the Game will result in a victory for the Giants.