The New York Giants face the Washington Commanders in an important Week 15 matchup on Sunday Evening Soccer. The 2 groups performed simply two weeks in the past in Week 13, the place the rating led to a 20-20 tie; it was the primary tie for the New York Giants since a 1997 Week 13 recreation in opposition to Washington.
Washington had the luxurious of a bye week to separate their two video games with New York; primarily, the Commanders had three weeks to organize for this specious playoff matchup. The loser of this matchup may have an uphill climb to make the playoffs.
In line with Soccer Outsiders, New York has a 90 % probability of constructing the playoff with a win; Washington has an 86 % probability. Nonetheless, with a loss, the Giants’ possibilities of making the playoffs drop to 31 %; Washington’s could be at 28 % with a loss. To say that is an important recreation of the season is an understatement.
Let’s take a look at what the Giants’ offense can do that time round to have extra success in opposition to the Commanders’ protection.
Week 13 technique
Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will probably not change his method in personnel. Washington nearly completely makes use of nickel and dime personnel packages; they get away with lighter gamers as a result of their safeties are wonderful in run help.
Towards the Giants, Washington ran Nickel 63.1percent of the time and Dime on 29.2 % of the snaps, with New York trying to take advantage of the lighter personnel with a ten.8 % 13 (1 RB, 3 tight ends, 1 WR) personnel price and a 33.8 % 12 (1 RB, two TEs, 2 WRs) personnel price.
Regardless of the ostensible speeding personnel benefit for New York’s offense, the Giants discovered little success on the bottom. New York’s EPA (anticipated factors added) per rush was the second lowest of the season – the one recreation the place it was worse was Week 2 in opposition to Carolina. The Giants’ offensive line solely allowed 1.47 yards earlier than contact; for reference, Washington had 2.25 YBC.
Probably the most success the Giants had on the bottom was within the two-minute drill earlier than the top of the primary half when offensive coordinator Mike Kafka referred to as three halfback draw performs in a four-play span that resulted in 6 yards, 21 yards, and -4 yards.
Not solely was the success of Washington’s lighter personnel a testomony to their second and third-level defender’s capability to suit the run, however they have been additionally in additional middle-of-the-field open kind of seems. Del Rio’s unit largely ran quarters protection (30.8 %), with a 26.2 % Cowl-3 price and a 20 % Cowl-2 price.
Regardless of extra off-leverage and two-high safeties, New York nonetheless couldn’t run the soccer as a result of the defensive entrance was far superior to the Giants’ offensive line. Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat are a scary trio of linemen to dam, and it seems as if Chase Younger might lastly return from the knee damage he suffered final November.
Moreover, safeties Kamren Curl and Darrick Forrest are aggressive coming downhill in run help. Additionally, linebacker Jonathan Bostic had an excellent recreation in opposition to the Giants speeding philosophy that consisted of comparable run ideas that Scott Turner used in opposition to the Giants.
Kafka tried to make use of GH counter from a wide range of formations with little success. Kafka additionally tried to get the soccer to Barkley in house as a quick 4 (movement proper earlier than the snap outdoors) to the three-receiver facet of a 3×1 set. Barkley had 5 targets that resulted in 5 catches for 18 yards.
The play-action bootleg and play-action slide recreation have been used incessantly, however Washington defended these performs effectively. One side of Kafka’s offense that’s underutilized was the short recreation passing assault.
In time beyond regulation, Kafka used fast recreation to assault the quarters protection and off-leverage of Washington’s defensive backs. The Giants had success in time beyond regulation with an 11-yard strike to Slayton that ended up irrelevant because of an eventual sack by Payne.
On the Giants’ second possession, Kafka dialed up extra fast recreation with easy slant-flat combos to Isaiah Hodgins that resulted in 10- and 12-yard beneficial properties. Unfortuanately, Jones was sacked on third-and-3. The Giants tried extra fast recreation in opposition to Philadelphia, and so they skilled average success. I count on to see extra in opposition to Washington.
What ought to the Giants do?
Kafka ought to try and construct upon the success he had in time beyond regulation in opposition to Washington by attacking the off-leveraged Washington protection along with his fast recreation passing assault. With two-man route ideas and a check-down, the Giants can put a Washington defender into battle, which might permit Jones to get the soccer out of his arms shortly off a easy learn.
The Giants tried a number of deep photographs in opposition to Del Rio’s protection once they have been in middle-of-the-field closed defenses (Cowl-3/1). An efficient fast recreation passing method might drive Washington tighter to the road of scrimmage in protection, which might permit Darius Slayton or Marcus Johnson to ascertain simpler vertical leverage deep.
The Giants had some alternatives down the sector in opposition to Philadelphia that weren’t capitalized, which primarily was a byproduct of poor safety. New York have to be good with its deep passing method as a result of getting behind the sticks and taking penalties/sacks was one of many fundamental elements within the Giants’ tying Washington in Week 13.
Establishing the run and dealing the play-action move should nonetheless be part of this offense. It is going to be troublesome, however leveraging Jones’ legs have to be an method, however not the only method. A extra balanced method is likely to be troublesome to completely belief with the Giants’ offensive line; the Giants had 10 true move units on 40 Jones’ drop-backs in Week 13.
I don’t assume it could be the wisest factor to have the Giants take 30 true move units within the recreation, however the fast passing recreation and an efficient speeding assault will negate the move rush if executed accurately. The Giants have solely taken 20 true move units in a recreation 3 times this season – Dallas in Week 3, Seattle in Week 8, and Detroit in Week 11.
That is primarily a must-win recreation for each the Giants and the Commanders. The final time the Giants gained a prime-time recreation was a Monday Evening Soccer recreation in Week 10 of the 2018 season in opposition to the 2-7 Nick Mullens led 49ers. The Giants have come shut a number of occasions not too long ago: Philadelphia’s comeback in 2019 when the Giants led 17-3 within the third quarter; Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss in 2020; the Evan Engram drop in opposition to Philadelphia in 2020; Dexter Lawrence leaping offsides in Week 2 at Washington of 2021; Oshane Ximines leaping offsides in opposition to the Chiefs in 2021.
Regardless of these horrific conditions, the Giants can proper the ship and win this recreation that was flexed into the Sunday evening slate for its dire circumstances for each groups. The Giants lack a profitable passing assault, and so they nonetheless can’t create constant explosive performs. Their speeding assault has stagnated, and so they’re not practically as environment friendly off the play-action as they have been earlier than the bye week.
It feels as if – with the Commanders coming off a bye and the Giants’ accidents – the playing cards are stacked in opposition to New York. Nonetheless, this can be a winnable recreation for the Giants in the event that they discover a technique to mitigate their errors. The Giants have been shut on a number of events to securing a win in Week 13. They should discover a technique to end and transfer the soccer on offense. It’s simpler stated than completed. But when the Giants need to make the playoffs, they need to put their greatest foot ahead on Sunday evening.
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