July 12, 2020

Washington Redskins Game 3 Preview: at New York Giants

The Washington Redskins and the New York Giants head into their Thursday night showdown in slightly different situations. The Redskins are riding high after a dominating 24-10 performance against the St. Louis Rams, while the Giants already find themselves in a 0-2 hole fighting for relevance in the NFC East. Both are seeking to take advantage of a very vulnerable NFC East division, with Philadelphia struggling at 0-2 and Dallas, at 2-0, missing its two best offensive players in Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.

The Redskins came out like a bat out of hell in the first half of the Rams game last week, compiling a 17-0 first half lead led by the powerful running of Matt Jones and Alfred Morris, along with the consistent play of Kirk Cousins. The hometown boys cruised to a 24-10 win. Most Redskins fans agree that it may have been the most complete first half, and perhaps game, they had seen in quite some time.

The Giants have had a pretty rough time getting out of the gates in this 2015 campaign. In both games they have held a sizable lead, only to blow leads of 23-13 vs. the Cowboys and 20-10 to the Falcons (both in the fourth quarter). The G-Men are going to come after the Redskins hard, as the annual rumblings about Tom Coughlin’s job have surfaced and the Giants can ill afford to start the season 0-3.

Each of these teams’ two meetings last year was a pretty one-sided affair in the Giants’ favor. Kirk Cousins started in one of those games, another Thursday night matchup at home, in which he threw four interceptions in a 45-14 rout. The Redskins are hoping that Kirk does not repeat this performance en route to a similar defeat. The last time the Redskins traveled to MetLife Stadium, Odell Beckham scored three TDs and the Giants handled the Redskins 24-13. The Redskins’ secondary hopes to eliminate the memory of that game with a good performance as well.

Key Matchups

Jay Gruden vs. Tom Coughlin

Thursday Night games are as much a battle of strategy and preparation as physicality and athleticism. Getting a team ready to play on a Thursday after a tough game on Sunday is what separates the good coaches from the mediocre ones. Coughlin is a man who lives on the hot seat and seems to always save his job when he most needs to, so Jay had better be ready.

The secret is out on Washington’s run-first game plan, but it should not be abandoned by any means. Gruden’s preparation for the Giants’ defensive schemes will determine the Redskins’ success as much as any player’s performance will, and it is time to see what Jay is made of in a game with some real magnitude.

Odell Beckham vs. Redskins Cornerbacks

The Redskins have not played against a receiver as dynamic as Beckham Jr. yet this year, and boy is he a handful. The Giants are going to try to get it to him early and often, especially if the Redskins’ stout defensive line can stop the run like they have the past two games. As long as the Washington secondary can contain him and take away the deep plays, then they have a chance to win this football game.

The Skins will finally have their full arsenal of Chris Culliver, DeAngelo Hall, and Bashaud Breeland active for this game. It is expected that Culliver will take on the brunt of the Beckham duties, but it will have to be a group effort to keep Odell from blowing up for three TDs again.

Redskins Run Game vs. Giants’ Front 7

The Washington Redskins, through two games, have the best running attack in the league, and people are taking notice. The Giants are going to stack the box and try and get penetration into the backfield to plug the holes that the O-line tries to open up. The Redskins have run it down the throats of two of the best defensive lines in the league, and will try to do it again against a divisional foe.

LB Jon Beason returns for New York for the first time this season, and he was sorely missed. While the pass defense has been the weakness of the Giants in the first two games, Beason has struggled with injury but is a known tackling machine that can bring a little extra edge to this Giants run defense. As always, the battle in the trenches sets the tone.

Redskins’ “Stud” of the Game

QB Kirk Cousins

This is a big game for Kirk. No, the Washington faithful do not expect him to go out and throw for 300 yards and three TDs. But they do expect a more disciplined, mistake-free Cousins that gets the ball to his playmakers and keeps up with the game plan. Kirk needs to exorcise his turnover demons from last year and build off his performance vs. St. Louis last week. With the Giants knowing the run is coming with Morris and Jones, he will be forced to make some third down conversions and big throws. Starting CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is likely out for the Giants, so look for him to rise to the occasion.

Staff Predictions

Eric Hobeck: Redskins 24-13

Cousins does enough, scoring twice with no interceptions.

Dave Nichols: Giants 20, Redskins 17

Though the performance against the Rams was hopeful, the Skins have a long way to go to prove they can be anything more than an afterthought in the division. Of course, going on the road and beating the Giants could put even more doubt into the equation. Kirk Cousins will have to have another turnover-free performance, and the running game to remain strong, for the Skins to pull this one out. I think they fall just short regardless.

Seamus Kane: Giants 24, Redskins 20

The Redskins are 1-6 at the Giants and 4-17 in primetime games since 2008. Combine that with the Giants fighting to avoid an 0-3 start and a wave of criticism of its Coach Tom Coughlin, and I think Eli and the Giants find a way to pull it off late in the fourth. Good performance, but not quite enough for the Burgundy and Gold.

About Seamus Kane

Seamus Kane is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Wizards. A native of Silver Spring, MD, Seamus grew up in the area all his life rooting for the Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, Caps, and Terps. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2014 with a degree in American History and now lives in Washington, DC. His favorite DC sports legend is Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green, and his favorite DC sports moment was Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off in the first-ever game at Nationals Park, a game which he attended. You can follow Seamus on Twitter @ShamelessKane

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