For the first time all season, the Giants are favored to win a game. However, when you're 0-5 on the season, nothing is definite. Despite the record, the Giants will have their hands full with Washington on Sunday.
Here are our three keys to victory:
1. Pound The Rock Early
Washington's defense strength is their front seven, specifically their edge rushers, rookie Chase Young, and Montez Sweat. If the Giants want to be competitive on offense and move the chains, they must establish the run game from the get-go. Once they have the ground game moving, that will then allow them to open up the passing game. It doesn't work the other way around.
The Giants went the running back by committee approach following the loss of Saquon Barkley, so it's time to put them to work. Devonta Freeman should now be 100% comfortable in this offense and ready to carry the load like he did last week in Dallas.
The running game starts with the offensive line, so if they want to be successful on offense, the offensive line must protect and have a bounce-back game. This is Andrew Thomas's most important game of his young season so far, as he goes up against the number two overall pick, Chase Young, who was picked two picks before him. He needs to show the Giants (and fans) why they decided to take him over the other three top tackles.
2. Contain Antonio Gibson
The Giants run defense has been incredibly inconsistent. That can't be the case this Sunday if they want to win. With Kyle Allen starting only the second game for Washington, you want to force him to make every play. By allowing Antonio Gibson, Washington's starting running back, getting involved early will take some pressure off of Kyle Allen and open the passing game up for him.
Gibson has gotten better as the season progresses but is still only a rookie and is learning the NFL speed. With the number of assets that Giants general manager, Dave Gettleman, has invested into the defensive line, they should have no problem containing Gibson.
With David Mayo back in the mix for the Giants, he should be an instant upgrade over Devante Downs and help slow down opposing teams running games.
3. Push The Ball Downfield
Daniel Jones has not thrown a passing touchdown since week one of the NFL season. We are now entering week six. It's evident that the lack of touchdowns and good games is directly affecting his confidence, and the only way to restore his confidence is to get him to score touchdowns and have a great game.
Unlike any of us expected coming into this season, Jason Garret's offense has been rather uncreative and downright dull. It lacks explosiveness, and we rarely see shots being taken downfield. Granted, with Saquon Barkley going down and the offensive line not playing as he expected, it probably limits what you can call on offense, but the good coaches figure it out based on what they have.
While we saw some more creativity and explosive play calling in week five verse Dallas, it still wasn't enough to win.
This week, verse Washington, if the Giants want to win, they have to score touchdowns and take shots downfield. With the waving of Damion Ratley and promotion of Austin Mack, let's see how involved he gets in the offense this week and if he can help open it up.
What do you think? Do you agree that these are the three keys to victory for the Giants to beat Washington and get their first win of the season?