Friday, October 19, 2012

looking ahead to Redskins

Just looking at the statistics, you can guess that the game this Sunday might be fairly high scoring and could be a challenging one for the Giants. Giants and Redskins are tied with 178 points scored, the 3rd best in the NFL averaging 29.7 points per game. Giants are averaging 414.7 yards per game also 3rd in the league and the Redskins are right behind them, averaging 394 yards per game, 5th in the league. The thing that always jumps out at you, the most important statistic for the passing game is yards per attempt. RGIII is averaging a very impressive 8.3 yards per attempt and Eli is averaging 7.9, also not too shabby.

The Giants have an advantage statistically on the other side of the ball, with the Redskins defense giving up 417 yards per game and their pass defense at the very bottom of the league, # 32. Giants defense is not in the upper half, but they have played better lately and everyone agrees that they have the tools to be a strong defense. Redskins have some key injuries to two key players in their young, active front 7, with Orakpo and Carriker both out for the season. They have some injuries in the DB-field also, weakening a defense that was strong last year.

Giants have to find a way to neutralize RGIII who looks like he is the next rising star in the league. Everyone has compared RGIII to Micahel Vick because of their great speed. Vick is a dangerous, player down in Philly, but his strength comes entirely from his incredible speed. Agreed that he also has a strong arm, but he is not quick or accurate with his reads of defenses and is turning the ball over a lot, perhaps in part because of increased complexity of defenses around the league. RGIII on the other hand, possesses similar athletic explosion but is apparently a very intelligent student of the game as evidenced by his 70% completion percentage, low turnover rate and his leading the league in QB rating. He is a threat. I think the Giants best approach is to make him throw the ball, keep him pinned in the pocket and force him to be a conventional QB. This means that the pass rush has to be good, but also has to be disciplined. The DEs can't give up their outside responsibility and let RGIII beat them around the corner. The DTs have to get a push up the middle and can't leave gaps there for him to slip through. Sometimes trying to be disciplined blunts the effectiveness of a pass rush, but there is one other advantage Giants may use. The Redskins WRs are good but not great. Giants may be able to blitz occasionally and leave the DB-field a little thin in their coverage responsibility.

Giants also need to get a lot of speed on the field on defense - as much and as often as they can. Towards this goal, look for Kiwanuka to get more snaps on the DL like he did against the 49ers even at DT. Taking his spot at LB was Adrian Tracey last week to combat the power running game that SF uses. However, Tracey would not be as good a choice this week because of his lack of speed. Jacquian Williams would be the best choice; unfortunately he has a knee injury and is out this week. Keith Rivers who might be the fastest LB on the team, though he missed some time due to injury, should see more playing time. One other possible change could be at MLB - I keep hoping that Herzlich will get into the game but Blackburn has been playing so well, even in the passing game, that he just can't replace him on the field. I am not saying Blackburn should be benched, but it might not be a bad idea to get Herzlich on the field some this week to utilize his superior speed.

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