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Players to Watch: Bobby Okereke's snap streak


The Giants will look to pick up the season sweep of a division foe when they travel to Washington to take on the Commanders in Week 11.

In the first meeting, the defense held the Commanders to just 273 yards and picked up six sacks on the way to a 14-7 victory. Both teams made some personnel changes since Week 7, through both injuries and trades, which sets up a different matchup this weekend.

Here are five players to keep an eye on this Sunday:

QB Tommy DeVito

After coming in for the injured Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor in each of the last two games, DeVito got the first start of his NFL career this past Sunday. The matchup did the rookie no favors, as the Cowboys sport one of the league's top defensive units. DeVito finished the game 14 of 27 for 86 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and was sacked five times. The 25-year-old also added 41 yards on seven rush attempts.

The Commanders come into Week 11 ranking 29th in passing yards and 31st in passing touchdowns allowed this season. They've allowed six of their last seven opponents to throw for at least 250 yards, including three that finished with over 300 passing yards.

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 11 matchup against the Washington Commanders.

RB Saquon Barkley

With the Giants trailing early in each of the last two games, Barkley has seen less volume than the previous few weeks. After averaging 27 rush attempts per game from Weeks 6-8, including a career-high 36 carries against the Jets, Barkley ran the ball just 13 and 16 times over the last two games, respectively.

While his touches were lower than normal, his efficiency has seen a big increase. In the last two weeks, Barkley has averaged 5.4 yards per carry on 14.5 rush attempts. The Giants could lean heavily on the sixth-year running back again this weekend in Washington, both in the run and passing game. Barkley carried the ball 21 times for 77 yards in the first meeting against the Commanders but added three receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. Barkley has played a sizeable role in the passing game all season, as last week's game against the Cowboys was the first time he didn't catch at least three passes.

The Commanders have been a little better against the run than the pass. They come into this matchup ranking 21st in rushing yards allowed, although they come in at 25th in rushing yards per attempt. Their six rushing touchdowns surrendered is tied for 11th in the league. Washington has allowed over 100 rushing yards in eight of10 games, and allowed a combined 107 yards to Seahawks running backs Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet last week. They also combined for five receptions for 82 yards and a score.

WR Wan'Dale Robinson

Robinson is coming off a quiet game in which he caught two of three targets for six yards against a talented Cowboys defense. However, the second-year receiver had one of his better games of the season the week before, finishing with four receptions for 35 yards and the team's only touchdown in the Week 9 loss to the Raiders. Heading into Week 11, Robinson ranks second on the team with 29 receptions to go with 204 yards and the touchdown. He is also the only wide receiver on the team to register a rush attempt this season, taking five carries for 25 yards, good for an average of 5.0 yards per carry.

The 22-year-old was held to just one reception for 22 yards in the Week 7 matchup against the Commanders, his first career game against the division foe (he missed both of last year's contests due to a torn ACL). However, Robinson may be leaned on more in Week 11 with rookie wideout Jalin Hyatt's status unclear. Hyatt suffered a concussion this past Sunday and has yet to participate in practice this week as he works his way through the concussion protocol. In last week's loss to the Seahawks, the Commanders allowed D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba to each catch at least four passes for 50+ yards. The three receivers combined for 19 receptions for 253 yards and a touchdown.

DL Dexter Lawrence

Ten games into the season, Lawrence's stats may not jump off the page like they did at this time last year. But make no mistake, the 26-year-old is enjoying another dominant campaign. Lawrence picked up another two quarterback hits in last week's loss to the Cowboys, marking his fifth game with multiple QB hits this season.

Going into last week's game, Lawrence had earned a 92.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus on the season. This was not only the highest among all interior defensive linemen, but also the top mark for any player 25 or younger in the NFL (Lawrence turned 26 on Sunday). He followed this up by earning an elite 90.7 grade from the analytics site, which earned him a spot on the PFF Team of the Week. His 46 pressures this year puts him on pace to shatter his career-high mark of 63 set last year.

Sam Howell and the Commanders offense has looked solid most weeks this season. But one area that the unit has struggled in throughout the year is pass protection. Washington has allowed a league-high 47 sacks through 10 games. However, after allowing four or more sacks in each of their first seven outings, the Commanders have allowed a total of just seven sacks over their last three games.

ILB Bobby Okereke

Okereke was brought in to be the anchor of the middle of the Giants defense, and through the first 10 games of the season, he has done just that. The veteran linebacker has been a model of consistency, playing an eye-opening 100 percent of the team's defensive snaps in every single game. Not only has he not missed a single snap all year, but he has also been highly productive while on the field.

Okereke racked up 11 total tackles (seven solo) in the loss to the Cowboys, which marked the fifth time this season he has reached double digit tackles. The inside linebacker now has 91 total tackles on the year, which leads the team and ranks eighth in the NFL. While he has served as a tackling machine for the Giants, Okereke has also been a standout in coverage. PFF has awarded Okereke an 80.0 coverage grade this season, which is the eighth highest among all linebackers.

The Commanders have turned into more of a pass-first offense over the last month and a half, but that doesn't mean they can't run the ball. Running back Brian Robinson Jr. has gained 485 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season, while Antonio Gibson has added 137 yards. The two have also combined for 50 receptions for 525 yards and five scores. While the two backs were limited to just 51 combined rushing yards against the Seahawks last week, the two played a key role in the passing attack. Robinson caught six passes for a career-high 119 yards and a touchdown, while Gibson also found the end zone while recording five receptions for 42 yards.

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


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