The Giants host the Commanders at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Commanders have a number of talented players who the Giants will have to find matchups for to walk away with their first home win of the season.
Terry McLaurin vs. Adoree' Jackson and Deonte Banks
Depending on how the Giants decide to matchup against the Commanders this week, it could either be Adoree' Jackson or Deonte Banks getting most of the reps against Terry McLaurin. McLaurin only spends about 17% of his offensive snaps in the slot and splits the rest nearly evenly between lining up outside on the right and left side of the formations.
The Giants have played Deonte Banks for the vast majority of his snaps at right cornerback, though in some games they have favored getting matchups for Banks and Jackson against specific wide receivers. Washington's receivers (McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel) do not have huge height/weight disparities, which might indicate the Giants will let Jackson and Banks simply play their sides of the field. This would give them both chances against Washington's top wide receiver.
McLaurin has been very consistent throughout his young career with three straight seasons between 1,050-1,200 yards despite inconsistent quarterback play. PFF has not tracked him for more than three drops in any of those seasons, and they have him without a drop in the first six games of 2023. McLaurin ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 2019 before being drafted in the third round. He is an excellent route runner and has snared more than half of his contested catches throughout the his NFL career, resulting in a very high ratio. He is a physical player who is not afraid of contact.
McLaurin is tied for 21st in the NFL with 31 catches for 342 yards and a receiving touchdown. According to PFF, he has grabbed 96.9% of the catchable passes thrown in his direction, which is eighth among wide receivers with at least 25 targets this season. Quarterback Sam Howell likes to get the ball to McLaurin down the field - 19.1% of his targets are for at least 20 yards (ranks 27th in the NFL).
Howell is not afraid to hold the ball and fire from the pocket into tight windows downfield. PFF has tracked him with 11 big-time throws this year, tied for fifth in the NFL, but he also has eight turnover-worthy plays, which is also tied for eighth. Howell has been sacked a league-leading 34 times this season. His 3.01-second average time to throw is sixth-slowest in the NFL, according to PFF.
Washington pass rush vs. Giants' offensive line
It's difficult to focus on an individual matchup here without knowing which Giants are healthy and how they will configure the line. The Commanders are tied for sixth in sacks (19) and their sack per pass attempt rate (9.2%) ranks 11th, although their pressure rate (35.8%) is just 18th.
Washington only blitzes on 27.6% of passing downs (19th), and only six teams use stunts and twists less than they do (22.4%), according to PFF. They want to put their stable of talented first-round pass rushers into 1-on-1 situations and give them a chance to win. All four of their starters have been effective at rushing the passer this season.
Montez Sweat has racked up the most traditional stats with 4.5 sacks and nine quarterback hits. He has 23 pressures (second on team) but his pass rush win percentage (11.9%) is only third for Washington, according to Pro Football Focus. He lines up almost exclusively on the left side of the defensive line, and uses length and power to make his way to the quarterback.
Chase Young, despite only having three sacks and seven quarterback hits, has been the most dangerous pass rusher on the line. He lines up almost exclusively over the left tackle and leads the team with a robust 19.6% pass rush win rate, according to PFF. He leads the team with 31 pressures, and his speed and power appear to have returned after his ACL injury as he is playing the best ball of his NFL career.
Jonathan Allen plays next to Young at right defensive tackle. His three sacks, seven quarterback hits and 12.9% pass rush win rate are tied for second on the team, and his 21 pressures are third. Fellow defensive tackle Daron Payne has not been as consistent with only 12 pressures, one sack, six quarterback hits, and a 5.1% win rate as a pass rusher. Payne has been an excellent run defender with five tackles for loss and 19 total tackles.
View photos from the all-time series between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.