Sunday, October 08, 2006

Redskins v Giants Preview

The current Redskins and Giants were built almost identically. Each has a dynamic passing game, a strong tailback, and atypically suspect defenses. So, this should be a high scoring game.

For the Redskins, their defensive weakness can be traced to the missing Shawn Springs. They have to find a way to limit big plays until he returns. At one point in the fourth quarter against the Jaguars last week, the Redskins D limited the Jags to about 180 total yards, but approximately ninety of them came on two plays.

There are a couple of exceptions to the quality of the two teams, however. The Redskins secondary is superior to the Giants even without Shawn Springs. It's all about matchups. Burress and Shockey are two players who are used to tossing around smaller defensive players and racking up big yardage. Terrell Owens is another in that mold. But, the Redskins have the ultimate weapon to defend against that in Sean Taylor. The Giants do not have anyone like Taylor in their secondary.

Taylor makes big receivers look small. The balls that these big receivers usually jump up and stretch for are suddenly just out of reach as their arms quickly drop to protect their ribs. In the last four games against the Redskins, Shockey has a total of three catches. With the benefit of YouTube I already what Taylor has done to Owens in his career. Shockey is quoted in today’s NY Post saying that Taylor is the toughest guy that he goes up against. Expect more alligator arms from the Giants receivers today.

The Redskins special teams are also superior. John Hall had played for the Jets for several years and knows the wind patterns at the meadowlands well, maybe better than Feeley. Rock Cartwright has delivered a big return in big spots in almost every game this year. I love how the guy just pounds it right down the middle of the field the way Brian Mitchell used to do. And, Antwaan Randle-El is a great punt returner. Even the Redskins weakest link on specials, the punter Frost, is having a very good year so far.

Do not expect a repeat of last year’s debacle in New Jersey. That was a once in a lifetime event that I am happy I won’t have to relive. I expect Chris Cooley and Randle-El to have breakout games. The Redskins should win by three with a late field goal.


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