Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
As I recapped in my Prophet’s Point After on last Monday, the Giants met a team that was worse than they were. The Dolphins were at the bottom of the league in giving up rushing yards at 141 a game. The Giants ran for 138 yards and Barkley had his first game over 100 yards all year. Barkley got 112 yards on 24 carries for 4.7 YPC. He did it the old-fashioned way. It was his first 100-yard game without a run of 20 yards or more. The game was close at halftime with Miami up 10-7, but the Giants blew it open in the second half. The key play in the game was the safety that put them ahead and gave them the momentum that they never gave back.
The Giants beat the Redskins in week 4 when they played, 24-3. It was Haskins first appearance ever. He had to come in in the middle of the second quarter when Keenum had to come out of the game. It was a gift game for the Gmen as Haskins was not ready for primetime. He was 9 of 17 for 107 yards and 3 interceptions. It was a one-sided mismatch and a gift for the Giants.
This was the first game that Barkley missed because of his ankle injury. It was the big game that Gallman had replacing him. Now the past several weeks Gallman has been a healthy scratch replaced by Javorius Allen. Gallman ran for 63 yards and a touchdown and he had 6 receptions on 7 targets for 55 yards and a touchdown. It was Jones’ second game and he threw for 225. He had 1 touchdown but 2 picks. Peppers had a pick 6 near the end of the 3rd quarter to put then game away. The Giants had 4 fumbles themselves and only lost 2 to go along with Jones’ 2 interceptions. The Redskins had 4 interceptions and Keenum had 1 before he went out. So, this could be a key to the game on Sunday. Through 15 games the Giants are -15 in turnover ratio, 30th in the league while the Redskins are much higher at +2.
This is then 173rd meeting between these 2 teams. They have been banging heads since 1932. The Giants lead the all-time series 101-68-4. This is the matchup of the 6th pick, Jones, and the 15th pick, Haskins, of the first round of the 2019 draft. The Giants can use the same game plan as last week. First, they want to establish the run. The Redskins are 28th vs the run giving up 136 yards/game. I also want to say here that Nick Gates did a great job filling in at right guard. He played 100% of the snaps, did not give up a sack, and allowed Barkley to make a lot ofplays to the right. I don’t need to reiterate that the Giants have had offensive line issues before this season for 6 years. Miami was giving up 141 yards a game going into last week. If they can establish the run, it will take pressure off Jones, who we know is turnover prone, with 10 fumbles lost, (15 total fumbles) and 11 interceptions in 11 games.
The passing flow will change. Jones does not check it down to Barkley, and he throws to Shepard less. Conversely, Eli has more rapport with Shepard and throws to him more. Shepard had 111 yards with 9 receptions with 11 targets, which was 38% of the total. Barrley also gets less catches. Eli set the record for running back catches with him last year. Slayton and Tate should be more in play Jones in there. Jones has 10 of his 18 touchdowns against the worst pass defenses; Detroit, Jets and Tampa Bay. So he could go off here. The difference in the game, if Jones can take advantage of it, is the decimated secondary of the Redskins. Moreau, CB is doubtful, Norman, CB is out, Dunbar, CB is out, the ex-Giant, Collins SS, is questionable and Nicholson, SS has an ankle issue.
For the Giants, Engram is out and was put on IR. He will have missed 8 games this year and 5 games last year. He has missed 14 games in his first 3 years. He is becoming the new Jordan Reed from then Redskins who is always on IR. That is the equivalent of almost a whole season of missed games in 3 years. With Ellison out again, it’s up to Kaeden Smith to handle the tight end duties.
The Washington game plan is to throw on the Giants get well defense that still is vulnerable now that Jenkins is gone. The Giants are 26th against the pass giving up 262 yards a game. However, their DVOA vs the pass is worse at 30th in the league. Haskins will be throwing against the “Giant’s Killer B’s”, Baker, Ballentine, and Beal. They are the Killer B’s because they are killing the Giants giving up big play after big play to the opposition. The number 1 pass weapon is McLaurin. The rookie has some familiarity with Haskins as they are both rookies from Ohio State. He has produced 33% of the Redskins passing yards. If that holds up that will be the new record besting Mike Evans from 2014 at 31.9%. He is dueling Slayton for the rookie touchdown lead. Slayton is the leader with 8 to McLaurin’s 7. McLaurin has 140 more yards.
The Giants have finally found a pass rush the past 2 weeks with 3 sacks each week. Marcus Golden had 0.5 sack last week giving him 9. If he can get 1 more sack in the next 2 games, he will become the first Giants linebacker since Jessie Armstead to have double digit sacks since 1999. We all know for a decade, Jerry “Reach” didn’t believe in drafting linebackers high in the draft.
Unfortunately for the Redskins, their best running back, Darius Guice, is back on IR again. That leaves Peterson with the bulk ofthe carries. The Giants have done well vs the eventual Hall of Fame back the last 2 games only allowing 44 yards on 21 carries. The Redskins use Thompson as the third down receivingback. I think then only way these guys see a lot of touches is if they get the lead. They want to throw.
So, this is a very difficult game to handicap. You have 2 3-11 teams with a lot of problems and weaknesses. It’s in their collective best interests to lose to get a beter draft pick. The Redskins are favored by 1, so it is a toss-up. Here’s why I think the Giants will win a close game. First, they just play better on the road, as demonstrated over the past 2 years. Secondly, the Redskins secondary is decimated, and thinner than the Giants one. Thirdly, the Giants have generated a pass rush lately and Haskins is just as likely as Jones to turn over the ball. Lastly, the Giants just have more weapons when you compare Barkley, Shepard, Tate, and Slayton vs McLaurin, Peterson, Sims and Thompson. I am calling this one the Giants 27 and the Redskins 24. It has to go over the 41 points with 2 bad defenses. They may be screwing themselves for a better draft pick by winning this game.