Week 17 Tale of the Tape: Washington Redskins at New York Giants

  • Quarterback
    Kirk Cousins is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the game and he has taken his opportunity with the Redskins and made the most of it. If the Redskins don’t sign him to a long-term contract shortly, he will become one of the most popular free agents in the league in the offseason. Cousins is an accurate passer who will find the open receiver and deliver the ball in stride.
    The Giants have endured a miserable season, and it is one that has seen the dramatic benching of Eli Manning prior to the Week 13 game against the Oakland Raiders followed by the firing of head coach Ben McAdoo and the reinsertion of Manning into the starting lineup. The basic feeling is that Manning can still throw the ball well, but he can’t get away from the pass rush. Changes are likely.
  • Offense
    The Redskins have been overwhelmed with injuries this season, and they have been hit particularly hard on the offensive line. Samaje Perine has taken over at the running back spot after injuries to Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Jamison Crowder (hamstring) has explosive speed, but he is not at his best right now, while the Redskins can count on Vernon Davis at the TE spot.
    The Giants have quite a bit of work to do in the offseason, and they must do something to make themselves multidimensional. The Giants simply can’t run the ball, and that has hurt Manning quite a bit. The Giants have been hurt by injuries to wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, but Sterling Shepard is a solid contributor.
  • Defense
    The Redskins have been disjointed on defense this season, taking one step forward and two steps backwards most of the year. They addressed a need for more athletic players in the offseason, but they have struggled to maintain those gains. Linebacker Zach Brown is one of the best tacklers in the league, while Ryan Kerrigan remains an outstanding pass rusher.
    The Giants have fallen apart on defense and they rank last in the league in yards allowed. That’s likely going to keep interim coach-defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo from being named as the team’s next head coach. Strong safety Landon Collins is a player the Giants can build around while defensive tackle Damon Harrison continues to play hard and have an impact.
  • Special Teams
    The Redskins have slid down the ladder on special teams, and that’s an issue because injuries hurt them in so many other areas this season. They have been outdistanced badly on punt return differential and their kicking game has been ordinary.
    The Giants’ coverage units have been disappointing all season, and they have been badly outdistanced I the return game. Rookie placekicker Aldrick Rosas has struggled throughout the year, while punter Brad Wing is just average.
The Giants may come through with a decent effort at home and that could lead to a close game, but they are not likely to come away with a season-ending win.