Week 7 preview: Redskins vs. Giants

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Keys to victory

1. Pressure quarterback Eli Manning » He's been sacked only four times and once in the last 13 quarters. So getting to him is difficult, and the line is much better than the one Washington faced at the end of last season. But the way to slow Manning is in part by changing coverages to get him to hesitate and then collapse the pocket. It worked for the Redskins last season. But that means they must get more pressure.

2. Stick with the option game » Yes, the Giants defended it earlier this season against Carolina, but the Redskins do it differently enough that it shouldn't be a big problem. Washington has more options off their option game than the Panthers, making it tougher to defend. Robert Griffin III is more of a scrambler than Newton and sells the fakes probably better as well. The Giants' athletic ends can be disruptive, but not if they're uncertain about what's coming.

3. Handle the ends » New York's strength up front is its ends, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul. The Giants also can slide Justin Tuck inside and get a lot of speed on their rush. Pierre-Paul and Umenyiora will alternate sides and can throw off tackles because they rush differently. Pierre-Paul is stronger; Umenyiora is faster. The Redskins like running the outside zone, but they'll need their tackles and tight ends to have a strong game to make sure this can happen.

Matchups to watch

CB Josh Wilson

He won't cover Victor Cruz all the time, so it's really up to him and DeAngelo Hall.

vs.

WR Victor Cruz

He already has 43 receptions and six touchdowns, but he managed just 44 yards in one game vs. Washington last season.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan

His pass rushes weren't productive last week, and the Redskins need more Sunday.

vs.

RT Sean Locklear

The ex-Redskin might be replaced by David Diehl, but he has played much better than in Washington.

RG Chris Chester

He's been fine this season, particularly in pass protection.

vs.

DT Linval Joseph

He's a solid pass rusher, with two sacks, and could pose a problem inside.

State of the teams

New York Giants

New York is coming off an impressive win at San Francisco last week and now is being viewed as the best team in the NFC, a mantle that likely will change between a handful of teams over the next 10 weeks. But there's no doubt the Giants are playing well, but they're also 0-2 in the NFC East.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins have been confident all season and after last week's win over Minnesota that feeling has only increased. Credit Robert Griffin III, and his performance, for much of that surge. His playmaking ability has compensated for other sins. Now the Redskins feel they can win any game because of Griffin.

Examiner predicts

The Redskins' offense will move the ball, but the defense must prove it can consistently pressure the quarterback and prevent big plays. That will be tough.

Giants 28, Redskins 24

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner