I got an opportunity to exchange questions with Anthony Brown over at Hog Heaven. While the Giants have controlled the series as of late, they need to rebound from two 2011 losses to a sub par Skins team. Only this year's squad seems to be a bit better thanks to a MINOR addition…
In the interest of strong "NFC Beast" relations, I got the opportunity to answer a set of questions myself on their site.
Check that out HERE.
How are the Redskins going to slow down the Giants passing attack? To be fair this is a matchup between a (statistically speaking) top five passing game and the league’s worst pass defense?
I've given up hope of the Redskins stopping anyone's passing attack. The 'Skins have become a disruptive defense by necessity. They have recovered five of five forced fumbles and have eight interceptions. Washington scored four defensive touchdowns in six games. I'm all in on former Redskins DC Richie Pettibon's contention that the only defensive stats worth watching are turnovers and third down stops. If the defense can shave the Giants' scoring opportunities by a single field goal, they could be in position to win it late.
Knowing what you do about Griffin’s ability to make plays with his feet, what is your game plan if you are the Giants? Do you assign a player to shadow him all game? If so, who?
I'm trying to figure that myself. Washington's game plan isn't as secret as it is diverse. They might do a Baylor read-option play. They might run Griffin III from the pistol. They might run Alfred Morris from play-action. It's a defensive challenge stop all that, especially when you haven't seen it before. There is now video on six games, so mystery is less an advantage now. I can tell you this. The Redskins running game with RGIII and Alfred Morris is more dynamic than the passing game. Focus too much on one and the other will get ya.
Defenders have to have the discipline to stay in their role, and beat the man in front of them. Griffin is looking for gaps and breakdowns within 10 yards of the scrimmage line. He is deadly accurate as a passer.
Give me one player who will make a significant impact for the Redskins in this game that Giants fans aren’t too familiar with?
RB Alfred Morris is getting good press, so he gets honorable mention here. I have high hopes for WR Aldrick Robinson, especially with Pierre Garcon less likely to play. Robinson has size and good hands. I think he's a more reliable receiver than Leonard Hankerson, Washington's third-round selectee from the 2011 Draft.
DE Jarvis Jenkins is a budding star on defense. He was working his way into rotation when Adam Carriker was injured. Now Jenkins is the starter. Jenkins was highly touted out of Clemson when he was drafted. He tore an ACL preseason 2011. In effect, this is his rookie year.
After seeing how the Giants defense fared against “non-traditional” offensive looks that the Panthers and 49ers feature, can we expect the Redskins to alter their attack a bit? Part two—do you feel this is the stiffest test Griffin and the Skins offense has faced thus far?
Yes on both counts. Washington's offense is still evolving. Mike Shanahan hasn't gone into any two games with the same plan. No pro coach does, really. He did not call designed runs for Griffin against Atlanta, ironically the team that concussed him. He called more for runs against the Vikings, a good run defense team. Go figure. The only consistency I can see is that Kyle Shanahan calls safe passes for Griffin that turn into big plays. He may be doing safe passes because Griffin is a rookie or because Pierre Garcon has not been available.
The Rams defense is underrated. The Vikings defense helped them to a 4-2 start. There are no defenses like the Beast and the AFC North — all on the schedule this year.
It appears the sleeping beast that is the Giants pass rush finally awoke last week against one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Is the Redskins offensive line up to the task?
From my reading, no NFC East team is entirely happy with their O-line. The Redskins line is holding up, meaning it's ok. They allowed 13 sacks and too many hits on the quarterback. 5.2 rushing yards per attempt is a testament to the line as much as to the rusher. I look for more shotgun, pistol and options against your pass rush.
Your game prediction and score?
It's a homer prediction, but Redskins 31, Giants 28. Tie me up and twist my arm, and I'll give you Giants by four.
Predict the division order of finish?
The Eagles prove the adage that football games aren't won on paper. They are won on television. The Eagles win and lose ugly and their front office in in turmoil. So, I'm flipping the Giants to the top. I always had the Redskins in division third place over the Cowboys. Nothing's changed there except for the Philly mess. Thus: