The Giants take on the Redskins on Sunday in the nation's capital. They defeated Washington in Week 4, and there haven't been monumental changes to the roster. There have been, however, some significant changes that will impact the nature of the matchup. I'll focus on the differences in Washington from earlier in the season in this week's scouting report.
When The Redskins Have The Ball
The Spotlight: Quarterback Dwayne Haskins -Haskins is coming off the best game of his career last week against the Eagles, when he completed 19 of 28 passes for 261 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. When Haskins is able to settle in the pocket and has the time to look down the field and step into his throws, he is accurate down the field. The Giants' pass rush may have time to get home.
According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), against pressure this season, Haskins is 20 of 47 (42.5% comp) for 257 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also been sacked 27 times on just 82 dropbacks where he has seen pressure.
The Matchup: Wide Receiver Terry McLaurin - McLaurin has emerged as one of the best wide receivers of this draft class. He is an excellent route runner with the ability to get open in any area of the field. He has the second-most receiving yards amongst rookies with 833 and is tied for second in touchdowns with seven. He leads the Redskins in both categories, and has had good chemistry with Haskins dating back to their time together at Ohio State. If the Giants want to limit big plays from the Redskins offense, McLaurin needs to be the focus.
Redskins Schemes and Tendencies
* The Redskins deploy 11 personnel -- one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers -- 69% of the time, which is the 6th highest frequency in the NFL, according to PFF. Along with McLaurin, the Redskins start two other rookie receivers, Kelvin Harmon and Steve Sims, who is their slot receiver. Jeremy Sprinkle is the starting tight end. The Giants will be in their sub-packages with five or six defensive backs for much of the game. Redskins receivers have the fewest yards after the catch in the NFL, with only 1,275.
* The Redskins run the ball on 1st and 10 59% of the time, which is the 5th highest rate of the year. When Bill Callahan took over as head coach after Washington's 0-5 start, he preached the importance of the running game and has stayed dedicated to it. Since Derrius Guice's injury that ended his season in Week 14, Adrian Peterson has taken over as the primary running back. Peterson still has the power to run through tackles, and is smart enough with how he uses his elusiveness to make defenders miss in small areas. According to PFF, of Peterson's 784 yards, 562 have come after contact.
* Even without stalwart left tackle Trent Williams, the Redskins offensive line had been solid this season. Donald Penn starts at left tackle. Their best offensive lineman, Brandon Scherff, was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday and will be replaced by fourth round rookie Wes Martin, who started last week against the Eagles and allowed no quarterback hits or sacks. Ereck Flowers starts at left guard and has allowed only two sacks and one quarterback hit all year. At right tackle, Morgan Moses has only allowed four sacks this year, while Penn has allowed six, according to PFF. Many of Haskins' 27 sacks have occurred when the ball has not come out quickly. The Redskins have only allowed pressure on their quarterback on 28.1% of their dropbacks, which is 8th best, according to PFF. Yet, their sack rate is the second highest in the league (9.8%).
* The Redskins struggles on offense can be explained by three numbers. They are the worst third down team in football, converting only 28.1% of the time. They only score touchdowns on 43.8% of their trips into the red zone, which is the fourth lowest rate in the league. They only have 31 completions of 20 or more yards, which is the fewest in the league. On passes that travel 20 or more yards in the air, Haskins is 3 of 18 for 93 yards and one interception. The Redskins are last in the league in yards per game (268.8), yards per pass play (5.81), and time of possession (26:50). They are next to last in points per game (15.4).
Keys For The Giants Defense
1. Pressure Dwayne Haskins – use blitzes if necessary
2. Stop Adrian Peterson on early downs
3. Don't let Terry McLaurin take over the game
When The Giants Have The Ball
The Spotlight: Safety Landon Collins - Collins has had a typical Landon Collins type season. He has excelled against the run and in shorter coverage areas with a team leading 111 tackles. The Redskins use him as a pass rusher, where he has a sack and three quarterback hits. He also has 8 tackles for loss. Collins will be the Redskins' best weapon in trying to contain Saquon Barkley. Collins missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with an Achilles injury.
The Matchup: Defensive End Matt Ioannidis - Despite splitting time as a defensive end in the Redskins base 3-4 defense, and lining up as a three technique in their four-man line sub-packages, Ioannidis leads the team with 8.5 sacks. According to PFF, he has seven quarterback hits and 34 hurries. He wins with strength, effort and technique. He will line up primarily over the Giants left guard.
Redskins Schemes and Tendencies
* The Redskins feature a very good front, even with Ryan Kerrigan being placed on injured reserve late last week. Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne are two fearsome interior rushers, while Montez Sweat is developing as an outside rusher. Keep an eye on 2017 second round pick Ryan Anderson, who has made the most of pass rushing opportunities the last couple of weeks. Washington is sturdy against the run, allowing 4.43 yards per rush play, 20th in the NFL.
* The Redskins play cover one or cover zero (man to man with one or no safeties deep) about 34% of the time. They have mixed in more two-deep safety defenses (cover two and quarters) in recent weeks.
* The Redskins secondary is dealing with multiple injuries. Cornerback Jimmy Moreland was placed on injured reserve this week. In addition to Collins, two of their top cornerbacks, Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moureau, did not practice with hamstring injuries on Wednesday or Thursday. If they can't play, duties will fall to Danny Johnson, Aaron Colvin and perhaps Josh Norman. The Redskins are 18th in yards allowed per pass play this season (6.85), but it is hard to overcome so many injuries.
* The Redskins are near the middle of the league in terms of pass plays allowed of 20 or more yards, but teams have been efficient on those attempts. Opposing quarterbacks have a 108.6 passer rating on passes that travel 20 or more yards in the air, which ranks 27th in the league.
* The Redskins struggle on third downs, allowing a 48% conversion rate, which is the second worst in the league.
* The Redskins like to generate pressure with the blitz, sending extra defenders 32% of the time, the 11th highest rate, according to PFF. They only generate pressure, however, at the 20th highest rate (34.6%). Their 42 sacks are tied for 7th most in the league. The Redskins do not use a lot of movement up front, using stunts only 10.4% of the time, lowest in the league.
Keys For The Giants Offense
1. Give Daniel Jones time to exploit a banged up Redskins secondary
2. Run well to the perimeter, away from Washington's strong interior front
3. Make big plays in the passing game
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