The Washington Post

Keys to the game

- — Andrew Golden and Scott Allen

DEFENSE GETS ANOTHER SHOT AT GIANTS’ JONES

Daniel Jones is 8-19 as a starting quarterbac­k in the NFL, but he is a perfect 4-0 against Washington. Since entering the league in 2019, Jones has been inconsiste­nt because of his inability to hold on to the football. The third-year starter has turned the ball over 40 times in his career, making him the secondfast­est player to reach that mark in NFL history behind Marc Bulger.

But Jones seems to have Washington’s number through four matchups. He has a higher quarterbac­k rating vs. Washington than against any team he has faced more than once. He also has passed for more yards (901) against Washington than against any other opponent and has thrown for eight touchdowns; he hasn’t thrown for more than four against any other team.

Washington Coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday that Jones’s success against Washington is a result of his ability to be a threat with his legs. Perhaps Jones’s most memorable play against Washington in 2020 was when he gashed the defense for a 49-yard run on a read-option play in Week 6. Linebacker Jon Bostic said Jones is a lot faster than people think.

“He’s dynamic,” Rivera said. “A guy that can throw on the run is also a guy you got to be concerned with. We know based on some things we saw from last year, keeping them inside the pocket is important.”

O- LINE MUST IMPROVE

The offensive line is looking to improve upon — and move past — Sunday’s performanc­e. Charles Leno Jr. said he felt terrible about his poor technique on the play that allowed Chargers edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu to get a clean shot on quarterbac­k Ryan Fitzpatric­k that knocked Fitzpatric­k out of the game and landed him on injured reserve. But after the hit, the left tackle said, his mind-set was to move past the play and focus on stacking better plays on top of each other.

That’s also his mentality ahead of Thursday’s game — to fix his technique and use the short week to forget Sunday’s performanc­e. He gave the same advice to rookie right tackle Sam Cosmi, who had a tough first matchup against Joey Bosa. Rivera believes Cosmi played well in his first NFL game but noted that the second-round pick didn’t always trust his technique and reverted to some bad habits from college as a result of being anxious.

SPREAD IT AROUND

New starting quarterbac­k Taylor Heinicke wants to get the ball to Terry Mclaurin and Logan Thomas, but he also wants to spread the wealth. Both thrived with Heinicke in the game Sunday, but he said he also wants to make the most of his chemistry with other receivers.

“I’ve gotten a good amount of reps with all of them,” he said. “I feel like I have good chemistry with all of them, so we’ll go out on Thursday and hopefully we can put it together.”

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