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Fact or Fiction: Growth of rookie O-linemen biggest storyline of 2nd half?


The Giants will rush for more than 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game.

John Schmeelk: Fiction- The Giants have eclipsed 100 yards in two of heir last three games due to long runs by Daniel Jones, including a 49-yard run against Washington last month. Teams are starting to scheme against Jones running more frequently. This will be Washington's second game against the Giants and they will be ready for him to keep it on some of those read-option plays.

Washington has been one of the better run defenses in the league this year, ranking 12th in the league allowing 4.21 yards per rush play. They not only have strong pass rushers in Montez Sweat and Chase Young, they also have very impressive defensive tackles in Jonathen Allen and Da'Ron Payne. It will be a tough go for the Giants to run the ball on Sunday.

Lance Medow: Fact- Three weeks ago, the Giants ran for 132 yards against Washington but, let's not forget, Daniel Jones was responsible for 49 of those yards on one run. If you take away that lengthy play by Jones, New York had 83 yards on its remaining 25 carries. Devonta Freeman (ankle) also did a lot of the heavy lifting in that game and he is out this weekend. Wayne Gallman has been effective in the last two games and five of Washington's seven opponents have surpassed the century mark on the ground. On top of that, the Giants are coming off a game in which they ran for 101 yards against the No. 1 rushing defense (Tampa Bay was surrendering just 66 yards per game). I think it'll be close but when you take all those other factors into consideration, I can see the Giants inching to 100. 

The rookie offensive linemen will be the biggest story line in the second half of the season.

John Schmeelk: Fiction- It will always be about the quarterback, Daniel Jones. It should be noted, however, that Jones' performance will be linked to the performance of the Giants' offensive line. The struggles up front have limited Jason Garrett's ability to open up the offense and give Jones an opportunity to attack down the field.

There is also no way to know if or when Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux will find their way into the starting lineup. Once Will Hernandez returns, will there be a larger role for Lemieux in every game? Is the coaching staff ready to hand the starting right tackle job to Matt Peart? If the answer to both of those questions is "No," those two rookie linemen will not be a big story, even if Andrew Thomas remains one.

Lance Medow: Fiction- The development of Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux will certainly be a key story line to monitor in the second half of the season, given play in the trenches impacts many other facets. But I'd still put that slightly behind the performance of Daniel Jones. His development is just as crucial and his decision-making will say a lot about where he's headed. Although Daniel Jones' play goes hand-in-hand with the productivity of the offensive line, I'd still rank the quarterback ahead of the three rookies up front.

After meeting less than a month ago, both teams will have similar game plans on Sunday.

John Schmeelk: Fact- The Giants are not in a position where they are going to do a lot of crazy things. Their defense is zone heavy and relies on their front to stop the run without safety help - expect that to continue. The Giants' offense will continue to utilize the run, play-action, max protection, the quick game, and RPO's to slow down the Washington pass rush. It is not going to change.

There is a possibility that Washington evolves a bit offensively with Kyle Allen playing in his fourth game and Washington coming off the bye week. I expect Washington's defensive approach to remain the same, focusing on getting pressure with the front four while playing a lot of "1" coverage.

Lance Medow: Fact- There haven't been drastic changes with either roster, but I don't think Washington necessarily wants to have Kyle Allen throw the ball 42 times again, compared to 24 runs as was the case in the last meeting. Part of that, of course, was a reflection of them having to play from behind and march down the field for a late touchdown. The identities of these two teams, based on personnel, have been established for the most part. Now, it's a matter of more consistent execution for both NFC East rivals.

Chase Young is the most dangerous player on the Washington Football Team.

John Schmeelk: Fiction- Right now, Young isn't Washington's best pass rusher. That honor belongs to Montez Sweat, who has five sacks and continues to evolve his game. In college he relied mostly on his length to win, but he has developed a number of secondary and counters to take his pass rush skills to the next level. He will primarily line up over Cameron Fleming.

It is also important to note that Terry McLaurin is dangerous. He has burner speed (sub 4.4) and one of the best route-runners in the National Football League. If the Giants can prevent him from making big plays on Sunday, their defense should be able to keep Washington's offense in check.

Lance Medow: Fiction- When Chase Young played against the Giants in Week 6, he had three tackles including one for a loss. In six games this season, the rookie pass rusher has 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Although his numbers don't necessarily jump off the page, he's still a dangerous player. Yet when it comes to Washington's front four, you really need to account for several other players, too, and why the most dangerous player on Washington is wide receiver Terry McLaurin or running back Antonio Gibson. McLaurin finished with a team-high 74 receiving yards in the first matchup against New York and has the speed to wreak havoc. Gibson is a heck of an athlete, who is still adjusting to life as a lead back but seems to be getting more comfortable each week. He can do damage as a runner and receiver, so you always need to account for where he's lined up on the field.

View photos from the all-time series between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.


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