The Giants enter Week 15 with a chance to get one of their biggest victories in a long time as they take on the Commanders in Washington. The game will be played in primetime on Sunday Night Football as both teams hold a 7-5-1 record.
They aren’t in contention for the NFC East, but they are neck and neck in the race for one of the three NFC Wild Card berths after the two teams tied a couple of weeks ago. Both are currently in the playoffs as of now but the game on Sunday will go a long way in determining who stays there.
The Giants are reeling as their 1-4-1 in their last six games while the Commanders are red hot, achieving a 6-1-1 record in their last eight games. The Giants need to find a way to win this game, as it would both get them off their current cold streak and put them in the perfect position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Head Coach Brian Daboll has brought a winning culture to New York in his very first season and a win on Sunday would go a long way in making this season the start of something great. With that said, here are three things to watch out for during Sunday’s enormous game.
How Daniel Jones Performs In Primetime?
Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones
First, throughout Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones’ career, he hasn’t done very well when the sky is dark and the lights turn on. In fact, he hasn’t won a single game in primetime as his record in that spot is 0-9 in such games. Maybe it’s the pressure or it’s just a random coincidence, but he just hasn’t been able to get over that hump. He’ll have a chance to right that wrong on Sunday as the game will be played on Sunday Night Football. On the magnitude of this game, Jones recognized it this week and the circumstances surrounding it.
“I think it’s a really big game for all of us. It’s a big divisional game on the road in December. Yeah, it’s a big game for us.” Daniel Jones – New York Giants
The saving grace for Jones is that last year, the Giants played the then-Washington Football Team on Thursday Night Football in Washington and he played great. He threw for 249 yards and a touchdown in a game the Giants should have won. He’ll need a similar performance to beat the Commanders this time around, as they’re one of the hottest teams in the league. He’ll need some help from his receivers, which include Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and even Kenny Golladay, to get the job done.
Giants Offensive Line vs. Commanders Defensive Line
Giants Offensive Line
Second, there will be a big battle in the trenches as both sides are very talented and can tip the scales on the outcome. To start the season, the Giants’ offensive line was doing very well and wasn’t seen as the negative area it had once been.
That wave was led by Left Tackle Andrew Thomas, as for much of this season, he’s been one of the best offensive linemen in the entire league. His struggles the past few weeks, along with the rest of the line, have been a factor in their losses and they need to get back to playing good sound football.
They’ll need to do it fast as this week, they play one of the most talented defensive lines in all of football. It consists of former first-round picks such as Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Chase Young, and Montez Sweat. Young has the chance to play for the first time since mid-November due to a knee injury and the same goes for Sweat who is dealing with a concussion.
If the Commanders’ line though is at full health, that will spell trouble for the Giants. They need to create enough blocking, especially in the passing game, so that their offense can produce some strong drives. If not, it could be a long night for New York.
Giants Secondary vs. Commanders Wide Receivers
Third, the Giants have been battling through some key injuries all season, particularly in their secondary. They lost Cornerback Aaron Robinson earlier in the season, Safety Xavier McKinney has been out since the bye with a hand injury, and CB Adoree’ Jackson has been out since Week 11 with a knee injury.
They’ve had to get by with a crew that is both young and inexperienced. CB Fabian Morreau and S Julian Love have, out of necessity, been given a larger role in the secondary and to win Sunday’s game, they need to play great.
The last time these teams played against each other a couple of weeks ago, Commanders Wide Receiver Terry McLaurin caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. He’s a really good receiver but for the Giants to have a successful day, they need to find a way to limit McLaurin.
Another receiver that showed out for Washington a couple of weeks ago was rookie Jahan Dotson. He scored the touchdown late in the fourth that helped send it to overtime. It was a very poor play by the Giants as they missed some tackles that led to the score. The secondary needs to do a better job of finishing their tackles and not letting the receiver make plays in open space. That’s just a recipe for disaster against receivers this talented.