Hard Hits

The Washington Post Sunday - - REDSKINS VS. GIANTS D5 -

LAVAR AR­RING­TON’S KEY MATCHUPS Ex­cerpts from voices. wash­ing­ton­post.com/hard­hits

Of­fense

Al­though the Giants have a tal­ented de­fense, they are prone to wear­ing down dur­ing the course of games. That means the Red­skins should give the ball to Ryan To­rain, who has been run­ning hard with good re­sults. The Red­skins need to com­mit to run­ning the ball Sun­day, whether or not it is ini­tially suc­cess­ful.

Re­ceivers will need to work the un­der zones of the Giants’ de­fense. Shorter passes will help get yards, ex­tend drives and keep Rex Gross­man in three-step drops that will help mit­i­gate that vi­cious pass rush.

Chris Coo­ley and Fred Davis need to be pass pri­or­i­ties. Find ev­ery way pos­si­ble to uti­lize these two guys, if you want to win.

It’s the last game of the sea­son; be cre­ative in the run calls. Kyle Shana­han needs to just let the play calls fly. There’s no need for Shana­han to worry whether the call is to­tally cor­rect.

Edge: Giants.

De­fense

The main fo­cus will be to stop the New York run. The Giants will try to es­tab­lish the run­ning game right away. If they are suc­cess­ful, the odds will swing in fa­vor of the Giants. Bran­don Ja­cobs is a big, bruis­ing back who can run and looks for con­tact. Then there’s Ah­mad Brad­shaw, who is quick and strong. He is a much smaller back than Ja­cobs but is equally ef­fec­tive with his slash­ing style.

Washington must bring the pres­sure this week­end. Throw ev­ery­thing at Eli Man­ning. It’s the last game of the year. Guys are au­di­tion­ing for jobs, so see what they can do. Play loose and play ag­gres­sive. If the Red­skins do this they have a much bet­ter chance of win­ning the game.

The Red­skins sec­ondary is de­pleted by sev­eral in­juries, so the re­serves will need to be ready for an in­tense aerial as­sault.

Edge: Giants.

Spe­cial teams

Kick­ing field goals may or may not play a big part in this game, but Gra­ham Gano’s per­for­mance against Jack­sonville last week will go a long way to­ward giv­ing him job se­cu­rity.

Punt­ing will need to be solid against New York. Sam Paulescu will need to have a good game. He, too, is au­di­tion­ing for a job next sea­son. Cov­er­age also will be im­por­tant this Sun­day; field po­si­tion would help the de­fense.

The most im­por­tant themes this week­end: make field goals, punt well, cover well and make sure to be penal­tyfree. If Bran­don Banks is able to get loose, that will be a bonus. But pro­tect­ing the ball and field po­si­tion will be the most im­por­tant fo­cus for the spe­cial teams.

There are no real threats re­turn­ing, so I be­lieve the Red­skins will have a solid show­ing. Plus, young and hun­gry tal­ent will be on the field for them.

Edge: Red­skins

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