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Eye on the Redskins: Breaking down the matchup

The Giants will try to even their record at 2-2 while winning for the first time this season at home and in the NFC East when they host the Washington Redskins Sunday in MetLife Stadium. Washington is 0-3 after falling to Chicago, 31-15, in its eighth consecutive Monday night loss. In the series that began in 1932, the Giants lead, 100-68-4. Their 172 games vs. Washington makes this their most frequently-contested rivalry. The teams split their season series last year, when they each won on the road. The Giants are 6-3 vs. Washington in MetLife.

What is the Redskins’ biggest strength?

For most of the last several seasons, it has been their running game, but now it’s a young and productive corps of wide receivers. The leader is Terry McLaurin, a rookie third-round draft choice from Ohio State who leads all NFL rookies with 16 catches and three touchdown receptions and is second with 257 yards. Smooth and athletic, he is an emerging No. 1 receiver. Paul Richardson, Jr. and slot receiver Trey Quinn round out the top three. The trio has combined for 44 catches and six touchdowns in the first three games. They utilize their quickness and speed, and quarterback Case Keenum spreads the ball among them.

Which player is key to the Redskins’ offense?

Keenum’s play has reflected Washington’s in the first three games. When he played well early in the opener at Philadelphia (16-for-22 and two touchdowns in the first half), the Skins jumped out to a 20-7 lead. But he was eight-for-22 in the second half when the Redskins were outscored, 25-7. Keenum kept Washington in games vs. the Eagles and Cowboys, but on Monday he committed a career-high five turnovers – throwing three interceptions and losing two fumbles – and Washington fell into a 28-0 hole it could never climb out of. Keenum had his best season playing for then offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur in Minnesota two years ago. He is second in the NFL with 86 completions, fourth with 933 yards, and tied for fourth with seven touchdown passes. If he gets hot and eliminates the turnovers, Keenum can give the Giants fits.

What is the strength of the Redskins’ offense?

It’s probably obvious by now, but it is the passing attack, which ranks ninth in the league with an average of 288.3 yards a game. With the experienced Keenum at the controls, Washington uses a lot of quick throws, play action, and RPOs (run-pass options) to keep moving through the air. The Redskins also try to get running back Chris Thompson involved in the passing game with screens and check downs. He is tied with McLaurin with 16 catches.

Which player is key to the Redskins’ defense?

Four-time Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, as it’s been since he entered the league in 2011 (literally – he intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in his first career game, against the Giants). Kerrigan remains one of the NFL’s quickest and most disruptive edge rushers. He has 85.5 career sacks - including 13.0 in each of the last two seasons – and sometimes seems to spend entire games in the opposition backfield. Kerrigan leads the team with seven pressures.

What is the strength of the Redskins’ defense?

Kerrigan and his mates in the front five – linemen Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis, and rookie strongside backer Montez Sweat. Washington has invested heavily in this group with three consecutive first-round draft choices – Allen in 2017, Payne in 2018 and Sweat this year (with the second of their two first-round choices). Allen is Washington’s top lineman, a thick, physical and athletic player who is strong on his feet. Sweat is long and rangy and has been a tough blocking matchup for tight ends. Every player in this group can get after the quarterback.

Which player is key to the Redskins’ special teams?

You can’t play much better than punter Tress Way has early this season. He leads the NFL in both gross (51.8 yards) and net average (46.5) on 10 kicks, half of which he’s placed inside the 20.

View the Washington Redskins projected started for Week 4 against the New York Giants.

Based on the scouting report, what must the Giants do to win the game?

Offensively, demonstrate they can run the ball without the injured Saquon Barkley and in the pass game, keep Washington’s pass rush away from Daniel Jones. Washington has had little success running the ball, so the defense can’t let Keenum and his receivers get hot.

Statistics you should know:

*The Redskins last started 0-4 in 2001. That season, they lost in Week 4 at the Giants, 23-9.

*When he caught six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown on Monday, McLaurin became the first player in NFL history with at least five catches and a touchdown in each of his first three career games. 

*Kerrigan has never missed a game, starting all 133 regular season and postseason games since the start of the 2011 season. He has 11.5 sacks in 16 games vs. the Giants.

*After being inactive in Week 1, Adrian Peterson regained the starting running back job when Derrius Guice was sidelined with a knee injury. But Peterson has rushed for only 62 yards on 22 carries, a 2.8-yard average.

*The Giants’ top two selections in the 2015 draft start for Washington. Ereck Flowers, a tackle with the Giants, is the left guard, and Landon Collins is the strong safety.

Giants vs. Redskins Broadcast Info: TV channel, Radio Station and Live Stream.

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Limited tickets on sale for Giants vs. Redskins

See the Giants take on the Redskins on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1:00 PM ET

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