PFF Preview: Giants @ Redskins, Week 4

An NFC East matchup kicks off Week 4 action and Andrew Stevens highlights some key players for this early-season division game.

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Giants @ Redskins, Week 4


The New York Giants (1-2) registered their first win of the season last week, while their week four opponent the Washington Redskins lost on a fourth-quarter field goal after Kirk Cousins’ impressive first start in Robert Griffin III’s absence. The Redskins will host the Giants at FedEx Field on Thursday Night Football.

The Giants’ offense has been inconsistent so far this season, but the defensive line has been a strength. Robert Ayers has not started a game, but he leads the team in pass rush (+4.2) and overall (+7.5) grades. Last week the Giants blitzed on just nine of 43 Houston drop-backs, but generated some form of pressure 19 times. Ayers, Cullen Jenkins, and Johnathan Hankins have combined for five sacks, three QB hits, and 13 hurries.

The Redskins’ offense exploded in Week 3, but they were unable to top the Eagles. Cousins has played well enough over almost two games (+6.6) to create a hypothetical quarterback controversy upon Griffin’s return to health and the play of the offensive line — especially Trent Williams (+5.2 overall) — last week is also reason for Redskins fans to be excited going forward.

Here are some other things to keep an eye on in this match-up:

Washington Redskins

Pierre Garcon – His 32 targets have tied for fourth among receivers and he saw 16 in Week 3 while earning his highest receiving grade (+3.7) since Week 9 of last season and the third best of his career.

Jason Hatcher – Has registered four sacks, two QB hits, and five QB hurries through three games. Although sack-less against the Eagles he still managed his highest pass rush grade (+5.3) since PFF began the analysis.

Chris Chester – The Redskins’ right guard is currently ranked No. 8 at the position in overall grade (+3.1). Third-best in pass blocking (+4.4), he’s allowed one hurry.

New York Giants

William Beatty – Recovered from a -1.2 mark in the opener to post consecutive strong games. He’s now sitting at +6.8 overall, second among offensive tackles.

Mathias Kiwanuka – Broke out last week with four hurries, a hit on the quarterback, and solid play in run defense (+1.7).

Larry Donnell – Yet to drop a ball that was deemed catchable out of 18 and last week also played well in another facet, earning a +2.2 in run blocking, the highest of his career.

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  • Chris

    The Giants actually play pretty decent defense. They rank #1 in stopping the run, they generate a pass rush in the top half despite not blitzing much (as mentioned above), and they’re average stopping the pass.

    Officially they’ve allowed just under 26ppg, which doesn’t sound good, but that is a bit misleading. 4 2nd half turnovers by the offense gave Detroit and Arizona possessions inside the 20 and added 16 points to the scorelines. Just removing those 16 points cuts their average to a respectable 20ppg. With that top 5 run defense and a solid pass rush from their front 4 they are a pretty good defense.

    Washington’s offense has improved with Cousins, but the strength of the defenses they’ve faced has also gotten way easier. Cousins faced the lax defenses of Jacksonville and Philly while RG3 had to battle Houston’s pass rush. As I mentioned above the Giants have a pretty good defense so this will be the first true test for Cousins.

    On the other side of the ball the Redskins are average against the run but below average in coverage and this should only get worse with Hall gone. However they do have a fierce pass rush (currently ranked #1) but the Giants OL has been pretty decent this year in pass protection (top 10). They will have their hands full but if they can neutralize the Redskins only strength on defense and keep Eli clean then they should win this one pretty easily.

    • Everyone

      Shut up

      • Chris

        Gee, you must be a Seahawks or Chiefs fan. Which one is it?

    • eYeDEF

      Nice call.

  • Jonathan Bennett

    Eli plays his best game in probably 3 seasons, while Cousins puts up sub-Gabbert numbers. I knew Cousins would be brought down a peg, but this was just something else. It looks like Washington’s QB situation is still hopeless, regardless of who is in.

    • Chris

      Nah, I mean I think Cousins is a step up from RG3, but not as good as he looked the last two weeks because he played crappy defenses. I agree he was going to come down a peg, while the Giants seemed to get it going last week offensively and kept it up against the Redskins “defense”.

      The Giants seem to be gelling offensively and they already had a pretty good defense. I think I they might be the most complete team in the division.

      • Jonathan Bennett

        Cousins is inconsistent in the worst possible way, showing himself to be highly capable at moving the ball downfield one game and being a turnover machine the next. He has an underrated arm, but highly questionable decision-making. RG3 isn’t quite as much of a turnover machine, but he still throws off of his back foot and is beyond injury prone, so I don’t think he will pan out as a long term solution. Cousins needs some serious coaching to be more than a back-up, and I am not sure that Gruden is the guy for that.

        I agree about the Giants. Eli was on point on just about every throw (even the lone INT was basically a TD, since Randle had 2 feet down, it was just that they used the “football move” excuse), the defense is finally getting some turnovers and Eli is being kept clean, let’s just see if they can keep it up. The Giants should be 3-1 right now (Eli played well enough against Arizona for the Giants to win, rest of the team didn’t unfortunately), and I am not sure how much longer the Eagles will be able to coast on second half heroics, so the division race may actually be interesting for once.

        • Chris

          The Eagles have a terrible pass defense and an inconsistent offense of their own. Foles feasted on some bad defenses last year but we’ve already seen him have a lot of trouble several times this year and he’s been missing some easy throws down the field.

          They were simply the best of the worst in the East last year. The Giants have really impressed me the last few weeks and as I said I think they’re the most complete team in the division. They may have an inconsistent QB, but at least they play some pretty good defense which no one else in the division does.

          I’d bet on a 9-7 Giants playoff team.

          • Jonathan Bennett

            I noticed last year that Foles had spotty ball placement and held onto the ball too long, but it’s stuff that people were shrugging off because of his gaudy stats. I don’t think the Eagles will turn out as bad as the 2012 Cardinals, who lost 11 of their last 12 after starting 4-0, but I see them struggling down the stretch, while the Giants build momentum. I don’t see Washington doing much better than last year, and Dallas will probably be 8-8 once more, so the Giants have a good chance.