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Need to Know: Can Redskins’ rushing defense turn it around vs. Giants?

Nov 25, 2015, 5:10 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 25, four days before the Redskins host the New York Giants.

Five early thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

—If the Redskins were getting set to play a random 5-5 team with middling rankings on both offense and defense at home, I’d have pretty strong feelings that the Redskins could win. But the Giants seem to be a bad matchup for Washington, winning six of the last seven over three-plus years. I’m not predicting they’ll lose at this point but I know I’ll find it difficult to pick the Redskins because of the name on the side of the other team’s helmets.

—After getting five turnovers from the Redskins last Sunday, the Panthers are tied the league lead with a plus-13 turnover ratio. The team they are tied with is the Giants. They do well on both sides of the ledger with 23 takeaways (T-2nd in NFL, 14 interceptions, 9 fumble recoveries) and just 10 giveaways (T-1st, 6 interceptions, four fumbles lost).

—Will this be the week that the Redskins break a six-game streak of giving up at least 140 yards rushing? The Giants have not posted 140 yards on the ground in a single game this season. They have been over 100 only twice, with a high of 132 against the Cowboys in Week 7.

—I’m not in the camp saying that Eli Manning is an “elite” quarterback. For that term to have any meaning you have to be talking about no more than about 10 percent of the group. Since there are 32 starting quarterbacks that means three or four are elite and Manning isn’t one of them. But he’s very, very good and now that he has adjusted to offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system his completion percentage (64.6) is at a career high and his interception percentage (1.6) is at a career low.

—We’re not hearing as much out of Odell Beckham Jr. this year compared to his rookie year. That’s partly because the “new” has worn off and partly because he’s averaging 20 fewer yards per game. But he’s still very dangerous, averaging 86 yards per game and with more touchdown receptions (8) than all of the Redskins’ wide receivers combined (6).


Today’s schedule: Practice 11:35; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until: Giants @ Redskins 5; Monday night Cowboys @ Redskins 13; Redskins @ Bears 19

In case you missed it

  1. skinsgame - Nov 25, 2015 at 6:07 AM

    No reason to believe the Skins will remotely contain the Giants running game or passing game. The switch to a 3-4 defense has never really worked and the team insists on sticking with it in spite of missing the key components of LB’s required to pull it off. But then, it doesn’t matter what the formation is if 10 games into the season players still aren’t wrapping up on tackles. Culliver has been awful since coming back from his injury. Stephen Paea brings “diversity” to the team but nothing else. So far, Scots striking out with his free agent crop and the revamped defensive line needs revamping. Rebuilding is the pits.

    • berniebernard666 - Nov 25, 2015 at 10:27 AM

      the 3-4 defense has nothing to do with the Defense failure in Washington. Joe Barry and his Prevent Defense featuring a 4 man pass rush and soft zone coverage does. Joe Barry is an nit wit and has a predicatable non changing defensive strategy. He doesn’t inspire players and cannot teach them how to tackle.

      It is Grudens fault that he chose the worst defensive coordinator in the NFL and the only NFL Defensive Coordinator to lead a team to an 0-16 record in Detroit. Gruden is also a nit wit. Scott M needs to make TWO changes after this season.

      • John - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:12 PM

        Barry does mix in some blitzes. Unfortunately we lack pass rushers. Philly has Fletcher Cox, New York has JPP, Dallas has Hardy and we have? We don’t generate any pressure without the blitz (5 or more).

        The single gap system is good if you have guys who tackle. Our guys often whif. The idea is to stop the runner on the way to the quarterback. Go through your gap and if someone is there with the ball, take him out .

        Everyone whined about Haz but he brought the blitz big time. Those Zero blitzes killed us often enough. He also did things like blitz Romo silly and win and then hardly blitz at all against Teddy Bridgewater a rookie?

        Perhaps what is needed is to go back to a 2 gap system to toughen the run defense and get a serious pass rusher and sure tacklers.

        • skinsgame - Nov 25, 2015 at 1:05 PM

          We have Ryan Kerrigan, paid to be an All-Pro, playing like a bottom tier of starters type.

        • John - Nov 26, 2015 at 7:37 AM

          Kerrigan is solid but not all that. He would be better served with a strong pass rusher opposite him and a beast on the defensive line.

      • skinsgame - Nov 25, 2015 at 1:07 PM

        I’d like to blame Barry. The trouble with that is that the players are not executing fundamental tackling. That isn’t a coach, it’s players. His scheme might indeed stink, but how can we tell when the players aren’t doing what they’re taught from the moment they begin playing tackle football; tackling.

  2. garg8050 - Nov 25, 2015 at 6:31 AM

    The ‘Skins will need a fast start, much like the Saints game. I see a potential shoot out, unless the defense can make some plays, again, much like the Saints game.

    On offense, i hope the ‘Skins come out in 4 and 5 WR formations and start with the short passing game. Use the pass to set up the run. The Giants secondary is not very good, and DJ should have a chance to make some big plays. Should also open up Garcon, Crowder, and Reed underneath.

    Defensively, need to keep safety help over the top on Beckham, and make sure someone has Vereen out of the backfield. Get Manning off his first read and they’ll have a chance.

    I see a 31-23 type of win for the ‘Skins.

    • hk2000 - Nov 25, 2015 at 7:07 AM

      4 and 5 WR? yeah., that’s what they did w/Carolina and look at the result- 5 sacks. You said it, the secondary is not very good, you need max protection and 2, max 3, receiver, then Cousins will have enough time to wait for one to get open. If you send 4 or 5 WR, they’ll be standing in the end zone watching cousins mauled by a herd of Giant defenders.

      • bangkokben - Nov 25, 2015 at 9:31 AM

        Were the sacks on 4 an 5 WR sets? I don’t think so. Once again connecting results that don’t connect. Did the ‘skins run 4 and 5 receiver sets? Yes. Did the ‘skins get sacked five times? Yes. Are both connected? No.

      • brucefan1 - Nov 25, 2015 at 10:34 AM

        Good thing that the Giants pass rush isn’t mauling anybody these days — it’s been one of their major weaknesses. And actually it’s been noted here that the Skins’ pass blocking hasn’t been all that bad this season.
        (Now watch JPP go off with his breakout game of the season!! Yikes.)

        • hk2000 - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:27 PM

          I don’t know, they played the Pats very tough, it seems to me they looked a lot better than we did against them. After seeing the Panthers game, do you really have much confidence in our OL or the whole team in general?

        • JOHNNY B - Nov 25, 2015 at 2:35 PM

          The only thing that I have to say is if we beat the Giants we are in first place. The division is ours to lose nobody in our division can say that. So kick some but and bring home the east. HTTR

  3. hk2000 - Nov 25, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    I said it before and I’ll say it again: This coach doesn’t have what it takes to be competitive and outsmart other coaches. Who really thinks any of our teams parts is better than it’s counter on the Giants? Coach, DC, OC, RBs, QB- Giants have the edge in all, if you wanna be like Larry Michael and say we have the intangibles, go right ahead, but I don’t see that either.

    • bangkokben - Nov 25, 2015 at 9:34 AM

      You’ve been saying the same thing since January except for the day after the Saints victory. Did the Redskins have the advantage then in Coach, DC, OC, RBs, or QB? No. No. No. No. and No. Scoreboard. So I guess this over-matched coach and team just got lucky.

      • hail74 - Nov 25, 2015 at 10:16 AM

        You fail to realize that every team we beat is lousy so therefore if even for just that one game we had clear advantages across the board. 5-5 Bucs? Worst team in league, even worse than the 2-14 Bucs last year. 4-6 Saints with Bree’s and Payton? Worst Qb/coach combo in the league. 4-6 eagles and Rams? Again somehow worst teams in league. The games we lost? 10-0 patriots and 10-0 panthers? Average teams at best that we would’ve destroyed with Bevell and Rg3.

        • ajbus1 - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:31 PM

          Are you joking? Cause that’s hilarious if you are!

        • hk2000 - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:35 PM

          He’s right , you’re funny! BTW, Who’s Bevell

        • hail74 - Nov 25, 2015 at 2:17 PM

          Of course I was joking, sorry not sure how to spell bevell, the Seahawks oc whose offense is worse than ours and a guy Seahawks fans blame for there current state, but some think he would be perfect for us

        • hk2000 - Nov 26, 2015 at 12:16 AM

          Oh no, I never ever suggested they get him! I always wanted them to get a defensive guy, I was hoping they get Zimmer, they went and got the wrong guy!

      • hk2000 - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:32 PM

        If you asked me before the game I would’ve said no, but in hind sight, yes we did have the advantage.The problem is they cannot have two games in a row with any sort of consistency, you do not see that?

        • hail74 - Nov 25, 2015 at 2:22 PM

          I really thought we’d beat Carolina, boy was I wrong. However, look at the opponents patriots then saints then panthers. Maybe early in the season things were still coming together and now we get alternating games between the top 2 teams in the league sandwiched around an average team. Could be nothing but could also explain the inconsistency.

        • bangkokben - Nov 25, 2015 at 4:53 PM

          So you had the Redskins before Saints after getting blown out by the Patriots?

          Of course, I see a lack of consistency. But I see them consistently winning at home against like competition and consistently losing on the road against superior competition. Is the home/road or the similar/superior competition? Against the Saints, there was no dropped passes, egregious penalties, or fumbles. So did the coaches have it fixed for a week or did the players execute? Was it because it was the Saints? Or was it because of the home field?

        • John - Nov 26, 2015 at 8:07 AM

          The teams that have beaten the Skins were better and not just because of their records.

          They had their tails handed to them by the panthers. The Patriots game could have been much worse (like the Seahawks game last year, where Harvin had 3 TDs called back and the team thought the held their own against the champs). Say what you want about Cousins against the Jets but the defense got beat like a drum in the 2nd half. Eli picked the defense apart with short passes and the deep balls later in the game. The Skins held their own against Miami and Atlanta but failed to take advantage against Miami with drive killing penalties and a punt return TD and not stopping Atlanta late in the 4th.

          The teams the Skins beat are average to poor. They should win those games or keep them close.

          We just lack the talent to beat the really good teams at this point.

          On the bright side, we seem to have found our quarterback. Like him or not he has shown progress from previous years. He has been the green light to have a multi pick game. Perhaps that would get him “out of the box” and get him to play a little looser. He plays kind of like Dalton, the first couple of seasons. Notice now that Dalton takes more chances and scrambles for yards. Now we need Kirk to take that next step. Having a full season and offseason of work makes a big difference.

          Unfortunately, we still need some big time players and that’s got to come via the draft, whichis down tthe road in the next 2 drafts…

  4. sidepull - Nov 25, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    “Giants have not posted 140 yards on the ground in a single game this season. ” I read that and I thought well there’s a stat i will read after the game about how the Giants rushed for over 140 yards for the first time this season. Its uncanny when you read stats like that and then after the game hey actually come to fruition. A self fulfilling prophecy…Man they better shut down the run and they better get Morris going strong or its going to be another long day. Last time they met JPP was not playing. He is now and that firecracker didn’t slow him down.
    I was great watching Malcom Butler and OBJ going at it. Malcom Butler game him fits. Redskins need to employ Butlers game plan.

    • bangkokben - Nov 25, 2015 at 9:39 AM

      I could care less if the Giants get 140 yards IF the consequence is that Eli throws for less than 200 yards and a turnover or two. It’s not so much about HOW MANY yards (Saints and Buccaneers) but HOW those yards came to be. On the bright side the Redskins still haven’t given up a 300 yard passing performance. (Again, insignificant if you allow 5 TD passes – four of which came in the 1st half.)

      • sidepull - Nov 25, 2015 at 11:32 AM

        I hear ya. I am tired of seeing them get gashed by the run. Its a big problem and they have yet to fix it. I just dont like seeing them blowing assignments, missing tackles, having RB’s dead to rights in the backfield or LOS and whiffing. Its pathetic.

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Nov 25, 2015 at 8:17 AM

    Will this be the week that the Redskins break a six-game streak of giving up at least 140 yards rushing?

    There is something wrong here. I remember far too many years in which our defense being poor because of lousy, overpriced free agents and/or complete lack of talent thanks to poor drafts.

    But we have good players now. And they’re mostly healthy. (Junior Galette would have been a difference maker, but he fell into our laps late in the preseason anyways).

    I, too, am starting to wonder about the scheme/coaching.

    • Bryan - Nov 25, 2015 at 9:08 AM

      From a very observant fan I think it has everything to do with scheme when it comes to run defense. The one gap scheme is designed for penetration which can be good but what I see a lot is the outside line backers crashing in to get penetration and leaving outside wide open and if dline gets penetration and makes tackle that’s great but if they don’t then gapping holes and then u have big linemen on linebackers and safeties. Where the two gap we use to run held up line men and clogged things up allowing linebackers to set edge in outside and inside backers to make tackles. I don’t think it’s coincidence Robinson was very good last year and this year not as much. You can blame on injury but I think it’s scheme and him not having the clear shot to rb as much like last year. I may be wrong but Ray Lewis wasn’t the greatest till he had big boys eating blocks in front of him allowing him to run around untouched. My questions is why can’t they be 2 gap in running situations and 1 gap in passing. I know you won’t always be right in what they actually do but darn sure wouldn’t hurt and it’s not like we are getting ton of sacks with this one gap. When it comes to the Giants if we play that soft 10 yards off coverage we always seem to play against them we will never get pressure on Eli and he will pick us apart again. Have to be physical with those small receivers and make Eli double clutch.

      • bangkokben - Nov 25, 2015 at 9:56 AM

        Hatcher would’ve had two sacks last week against a quarterback like Eli. You bring in a coach, you let him use his system – that is what has “made him successful” in the past. If you don’t like the results – at the end of the year you evaluate and determine what areas need to be fixed and how. A rebuilding year with a rebuilding unit, is the perfect time to make that kind of change. Guys like Baker and Hatcher are playing better in this system while the inside linebackers – who weren’t great in the previous system – are playing worse. As far as going back to a two gap on running downs – because you can’t diagnose the play pre-snap and communicate it to all 11, there are 13 new faces on defense this year, so how is that going to help?

        2015 was a rebuilding year until the division became wide open, but it didn’t change the fact that this team is still in the construction mode. Sunday will determine whether the team needs to redouble its efforts on the rebuild – play the young guys. (Can they find younger guys who aren’t playing?) Lose and the division race is all but over giving the Giants a 2 game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker with five game remaining; win and the Redskins have 1st place by the way of the division tie-breaker – possibly over a three-way tie.

        • sidepull - Nov 25, 2015 at 11:35 AM

          Gimme 2 Hatchers if hes going to play like he did last week.

        • Bryan - Nov 25, 2015 at 6:48 PM

          I don’t disagree it’s a rebuilding year and I didn’t expect them to make playoffs anyways. But you saying you can’t switch defense alignment doesn’t make sense. I understand you can’t pre determine what they are going to do but based off your take why would they have specialty pass rushers bc on you theory they can’t pre determine but what they do is say it’s a passing situation and the same could be done for primary running situations. But Robinson did play good last year so it wasn’t all inside backer didn’t. And I argue Kerrigan was better in run dept last year then he has been this year even prior to his hand. It’s because they have him crashing inside so much. Scheme has had a effect on this defense. And if they play a team that likes to play two te and run they maybe ok but teams have figured out let’s spread them out and when they miss tackles in back field which isn’t scheme but a separate problem we have tons of room to run. Nobody wants to say it but pot roast in my opinion hasn’t shown what I thought he would and I hope he finally is getting into shape and will be the man we hope he can be. But almost December and meaningful game lets hope they fix their flaws and make us happy. Httr

        • bangkokben - Nov 25, 2015 at 7:30 PM


          You missed my main point about running “LAST YEAR’S” system. It is last year’s system. Joe Barry doesn’t run it, the D-line was completely rebuilt with guys that didn’t run it last year and were specifically signed to play the one-gap system, and the other additions to the defense didn’t run it either. So you want a defense where more than 50% is new personnel to play something they haven’t been instructed to do or practice. The fact that Robinson and Kerrigan aren’t playing as well as they did last year is multi-layered and scheme is just one of those layers. Kerrigan has not has the same explosion he had last year at all this season. He is clearly a step slower and now has the hand. Last year, he was constantly “crashing in” getting burnt like toast by Russell Wilson – and any other QB – on bootlegs. That is nothing new from Kerrigan. Opponents are consistently moving Tight Ends – or even Wide Receivers – in motion to Kerrigan’s outside shoulder sealing the edge before the snap. He has not fought out of this well all year. Maybe the safety or the corner is then suppose to have contain in these situations – if they are, they aren’t doing it. Pot Roast could play two gaps but the rest of the team can’t – he needs to play better anyway. Paea, Jean Francios, Smith, Foster, Bates, Goldson, Johnson, Jarrett, Culliver, Blackmon, Everette, and Dunbar are all new to the defense this year and have not played the other version of the 3-4 – which also has different responsibilities in the back end. Perhaps the thought that Riley, Robinson and Compton would be able to occupy a gap and make the tackle was misguided, perhaps it’s a learning experience that they can improve on, but that’s what you do when what you were running doesn’t work – you make changes. Sometimes they work and other times they don’t. But going back to last year’s scheme is as likely AND practical as switching back to a 4-3. Any changes in scheme will come in the offseason.

      • hail74 - Nov 25, 2015 at 10:09 AM

        What I see is a lot of broken tackles. Irregardless of scheme, you’ll get run on all day with poor tackling. There have even been times where multiple players ha e had a chance and failed to make a gang tackle. People can complain about scheme but it’s execution that’s the problem. Perhaps they need to coach the fundamentals better, fine, but we’re not the only team running a one gap 3-4 in the league so why is it working elsewhere?

        • ajbus1 - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:37 PM

          I agree. Missed tackles have plagued the defense with haz and barry.

        • hk2000 - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:43 PM

          Yes they do need to coach better fundamentals. Every coach has his own way, and if their scheme is a little different from what the player is used to, then he needs to coach them up, but I’d still argue our problems start and end with the play calling and scheme on OFFENSE. Last week the defense hardly had a breather all game long, so I’m giving them a pass.

        • hail74 - Nov 25, 2015 at 2:26 PM

          Last week they had one successful stop, the first drive Carolina went 3 and out. Sure the offense gave it righit back and we even got a sack to make it 2&22. From there on out tho they couldn’t stop them. That’s not the offenses fault.

  6. metalman5150 - Nov 25, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    You can’t fix broken. all it takes are few sketchy penalties, and the skins’ will pack it in.
    OR – Chris Culliver, yo dont tackle the receiver until he tackles you.
    Hey – O-line, don’t block anybody ‘too’ well bc we don’t want holding calls. screw it, don’t block anybody and we’ll take the sacks, instead.
    John Mara will not rest until the Redskins are the most laughed at organization.

  7. bangkokben - Nov 25, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    Happy Thanksgiving to all unless you celebrate festivus. In that case, let’s begin with the airing of greivances or do we begin with the feats of strength? It seems for some us, everyday is Festivus.

    • colmac69 - Nov 25, 2015 at 11:52 AM

      Look on bright side….they playing at Wembley nxt season and potentially Twickenham (home of England rugby team)……

      Only 400 miles from my home……hopefully they undefeated by time they get over lol

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:02 PM

      The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances.

      I got a lot of problems with you people!

    • ajbus1 - Nov 25, 2015 at 12:43 PM

      Hilarious! No doubt there’s “airing of the grievances” everyday on here.

      • colmac69 - Nov 25, 2015 at 1:31 PM

        Having never watched Seinfeld I had to look up festivus to get the gist of it

        Think u might include greed,,,hk 2000,,,Mr money,,,redskin history, ,,,tim what’s his name and others who celebrate it every day especially on here

        To my colonial cousins have a gd thanksgiving when it arrives and here to a lion,,,panthers victory tom nite Archives

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