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