The Redskins host the New York Giants this weekend in a game for the future. New York’s got their playoff spot wrapped-up and the ‘Skins are looking to lock up their spot, as well. I spoke with Ed Valentine of Big Blue View to gain insight on this week’s opponent.
The Giants were 6-10 last year in a relatively weak NFC East. What were the expectations coming into the year and what happened along the way to the current 10-5 record?
Well, we know what happened. The Giants moved on from Tom Coughlin, whether he was to blame or not. And I still think the answer is "not." But, that's an old argument. They rebuilt their defense and they have ridden that defense, some solid special teams play and just enough heroics from Odell Beckham.
Less than a week away from age 36, Eli Manning's yards, TDs, and passer rating are down while his INTs are up compared to the past couple of seasons. While still respectable, is Eli showing signs of fading? What's the future of the QB position look like for the Giants?
That's a difficult question. Some would say yes, others no. He throws a wobbler once in a while, but I think he always had. It's never been purely about arm strength for Eli. The Giants have a poor offensive line, even though the sack numbers don't show it. Manning just works around it by getting rid of the ball ultra-fast. They don't run well. They don't have a tight end. They have a pretty predictable passing attack. Eli has always, and will always, make some head-scratching decisions and throws. I'm not yet willing to say he's in decline, but I know there is a lot of dysfunction around him and I think that's part of what we see.
Is OBJ going to play Sunday? If so, how should the Redskins try to contain him? If not, who should the Redskins worry about most coming into this game?
Ben McAdoo says starters will play and he will be trying to win the game. I honestly don't know how much guys will play, though I think there will be some limitations. We know we will see Beckham vs. Josh Norman. That didn't work for Carolina and it didn't work for Washington in Week 3. You have to bracket the guy. Teams that have had success play two-high safeties and don't give him the lanes to create after he catches the ball.
While the Giants have a top-10 rushing defense, they rank 22nd against the pass. Why have they seemingly struggled in that department? Is that a weakness the 'Skins can exploit? Could Kirk be in for a big day Sunday?
In my view, they really haven't struggled there at all. It's a function of being ahead. When teams can't run either because they are getting shut down or are losing, passing numbers get skewed. They have given up a handful of long plays, but their secondary is outstanding. Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple are as good as any trio of corners in the league. Landon Collins has had an All-Pro year at safety. The pass rush has gotten better as the year has gone along and Steve Spagnuolo has gotten more comfortable utilizing the blitz.
What's Ben McAdoo's future with the Giants? Are fans satisfied with him as their HC?
I suspect McAdoo is going to have a loooooooong run at Giants' head coach. You have to be satisfied with the first playoff berth in five years. McAdoo is stubborn about some things and I think some of that has held back an offense that should be better. But, players love the guy, the job isn't too big for him, he's a first-time head coach with room to grow. He'll be in that job for a while.
Thanks to Ed Valentine and Big Blue View for stopping by!