The New York Giants are slated to take a defensive end in Mel Kiper’s latest 2013 NFL Mock Draft. The G-Men certainly did struggle to generate a pass rush this past season, but should they really draft another defensive end?
Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins look to upset the hot New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday and a few factors will determine whether or not this team gets a key victory.
The Redskins have been marred by injuries on both sides of the ball, with Pierre Garcon likely out for this game and Brian Orakpo lost for the season.
There will be a number of things that Washington can do to slow down their divisional rivals on Sunday and three keys stand out as potential ways that Mike Shanahan’s squad can win this ballgame.
1. Neutralize the Giants run game
New York is at its best when Ahmad Bradshaw or Andre Brown can break off big chunks on the ground, setting up an Eli Manning-led passing attack. Big wins against Carolina, Cleveland and San Francisco came thanks to 125, 243, and 149 yards on the ground respectively.
The Redskins aren’t fantastic up front, but selling out against the run early will be key for the team. Against a strong Giants ground game, Stephen Bowen, who’s been very good at stopping the run thus far this season, will have to carry a unit that includes underachievers like Barry Cofield and Kedric Golston.
2. Establish a short, quick passing game on offense
Pro-Bowl caliber members of the Giants defensive line like Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul have spoken out about how New York isn’t going to let anything come easy for Redskin quarterback Robert Griffin III on Sunday. The Giants are one of the only teams in the NFL that can generate a scary amount of pressure with just a four-man rush and Griffin won’t have a lot of time in the pocket on Sunday.
Of all the coaches who how to counter this, Mike Shanahan is certainly near the top of the list. If Griffin can get players like Santana Moss the ball in space on short, horizontal throws, the Redskins offense will succeed.
3. Exploit Chase Blackburn by running the ball up the middle
According to Pro Football Focus, Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn has only had one game (Philadelphia) in which he’s made any positive contributions in run defense. Blackburn has done alright against the pass but he is hopelessly out of place when teams run the football.
The team’s middle linebacker, this Giant is susceptible to iso-type runs and the Redskins would be well-suited to get going with the run game up the middle. Alfred Morris, who’s rushed for an astounding 538 yards on 116 carries, will receive a majority of the workload and should do damage when running between his guards.