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Keys to Victory

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Keys to Victory: How to repeat success vs. WFT

KEYS-TO-VICTORY

What the Giants lack in time on a short week, they make up for in history.

Thursday Night Football marks the 177th regular-season meeting between the Giants and Washington, with Big Blue holding a 104-68-4 series advantage. The Giants have won each of the past five games, including a 2020 season sweep of the defending NFC East champions.

Here are three ways the Giants can keep the streak alive and, more importantly, notch their first victory of the season:

Get the ball out on time.

Washington, the second-ranked defense in yards allowed last season, boasts first-round picks up and down the defensive front. The list includes defensive ends Chase Young, the 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Montez Sweat, who got on the board with a sack of Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in Week 1.

"They're a good defense," Giants quarterback Daniel Jones said. "It definitely starts up front like. They've got those two guys and a lot of guys who can get after the passers and disrupt a game with their pass rush. We've got to do a good job getting the ball out on time and protecting, making sure we're on the same page and communicating well. They're certainly a good front and we'll be ready for it."

When asked specifically about Young, Jones added, "He's a good player, he's proven that. Like I said, we'll be ready for him. I thought Herbert did a good job getting the ball out on time and making reads and being decisive there, so that's the challenge. We'll protect well and then understand where we are as far as communication, getting on the same page and then me getting the ball out of my hands."

Get off the field on time.

The Giants struggled in key situations in Week 1, allowing the Broncos to convert all three of their fourth-down attempts. Denver quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was starting in his 50th regular season game last week. This week, the Giants will face backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who will make his second career regular season start after starter Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury. The Giants, however, won't take Heinicke lightly. He battled Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl champion Buccaneers into deep water during in the Wild Card Round this past January. Heinicke was signed as an emergency option last December, and now he will be called upon again.

Challenge Washington in the open field.

Washington allowed the second-fewest plays of 20 yards or more last season, a credit to the disruption caused up front. The Giants, meanwhile, have a group of weapons looking to break out – Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, and Kyle Rudolph all made their returns – after knocking off some rust in the season opener. At the same time, the Giants can't try to do too much and lose the football. They will have to be patient and pick their spots.

"You play against this team, you have to be prepared to go down the field tick by tick by tick," Judge said. "They're a very good team situationally getting off the field on third down and red area. They're a very good team of not allowing explosive plays. They're a good tackling team. OK, you've got to make sure you try and challenge them in the open field when you get the opportunity. But this is a fundamentally sound team, they're very prepared. They come in and do what they do."

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