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Giants - Washington
Game 11 preview
Sunday Nov 19, 1:00 PM - Giants at Washington

Giants (2-8) Washington (4-6)
Last Sunday the Commanders were engaged in a back and forth battle in Seattle that lasted from start to finish. In the final minute, the Seahawks broke the tie score with a field goal, giving them a 29-26 win.
The Giants fell behind from the start in their game with the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn't until the second half that they first put points up on the scoreboard, but still took a decisive 49-17 loss to the Cowboys.

Washington Commanders
Dan Snyder was the owner of the Washington team for 24 years. Current ownership is in the hands of Josh Harris, who was born in Maryland. Harris is also a managing partner for the NHL's New Jersey Devils and NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. Harris saw his new team get off to a good start with two wins, but since then Washington's won 2 and lost 6.
Head coach Ron Rivera has been with the team since 2020. His record over that time has been 7-9, 7-10, 8-8-1, and right now 4-6. Surprisingly, Rivera's first year 7-9 record won Washington the NFC East Division, and got them a playoff wildcard game loss to the Buccaneers. Rivera may be tasked with posting a winning record for the first time since he's been in control, as new management weighs all their options.

Washington Commanders Offense
Eric Bieniemy became the new offensive coordinator for the Commanders this season, Bieniemy had that same job for the Kansas City Chiefs, but now he's calling plays for the first time in his career. So far compared to last years numbers, the team is passing for 43 more yards a game, running for 38 less yards a game, and scoring 2 points less on average. Bieniemy must like what he sees in quarterback Sam Howell, as Howell has thrown more passes than any other quarterback in the league.
Howell got his first start in the last game of the 2022 season, and it was a successful one, as the Commanders defeated the Dallas Cowboys 26-6. Howell, coming into the first game with the Giants, had thrown 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He was the most sacked quarterback in the NFL, having taken 34 sacks. With that game and the three games since, Howell now has thrown 17 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.
Wide receiver Terry McLaurin leads the team with 51 receptions for 601 yards and 29 first downs. Howell makes good use of McLaurin, as well as Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, Jamison Crowder and tight end Logan Thomas. They are responsible for 12 of Howell's 17 touchdowns, and running backs Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. have 5. Robinson leads the team by far with 121 carries for 485 rushing yards and 32 first downs. Howell is second, with 31 carries for 174 yards, and he has 11 first downs.

Washington Commanders Defense
The stats show that outside linebackers Montez Sweat and Chase Young lead the team in sacks, accounting for 11.5 of the total 26 sacks. The thing is they are no longer with the team, having been traded by the Commanders for draft picks. In the last game with the Giants they had 3 of the 4 sacks on Tyrod Taylor. The team has recorded 1 sack in the two games since they traded Sweat and Young away. It may take a while for the Commanders to adjust to working without their former top pass rushers. James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill are the starters, but Smith-Williams was hurt last week and is out for this game. They are still strong upfront and despite the fall off in quarterback pressure, the last two games were close ones, a 20-17 win over the Patriots and a 29-26 loss to the Seahawks.
In that loss, Geno Smith threw for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Seattle had 120 rushing yards. Even with the Giants offensive line dealing with it's usual malfunctions, Tommy DeVito should find himself having more time in the pocket against this defense than he did last week with the Cowboys. In their last meeting the Giants had some big plays, and maybe their receivers will see more deeper passes coming their way.

Giants Offense
Tyrod Taylor was the starting quarterback filling in for Daniel Jones, sidelined with a neck injury, the last time the Giants faced off with the Commanders. Tommy DeVito is in that role for this game, and as it was with Taylor then, it will be his second start of the season. The Giants will be hoping that DeVito will achieve the same results as Taylor, guiding them to a win, and hopefully with more points put up on the scoreboard. That would make things a bit easier on their defense which has been struggling in that area in the last two games.
In his first start last week, DeVito threw one interception, but also had two touchdowns, and the total 17 points scored were the second most the Giants have had this season. There was only one catch that was made past the 10 yard touchdown that Lawrence Cager caught, and that was to the other tight end Daniel Bellinger for 26 yards. Sterling Shepard caught one for a two yard touchdown. DeVito is inexperienced and they might have him going with short passes to his tight ends, slot receivers and Saquon Barkley, at least at the start to gauge how the defense is playing.
With quarterbacks coming in and out, Barkley has been relied on heavily to keep the running game going, and he's averaged over 5 yards a carry in the last two games, his highs for the year. In the last game with the Commanders, Barkley had a combined 118 yards, and caught one touchdown. It was a short pass that he took 32 yards into the end zone.

Giants Defense
The defense played well last time out against the Commanders. They allowed only 7 points on one touchdown after coming in to defend from their own 21-yard line, after the offense turned the ball over on a punt return. Though they started that game having the least sacks in the NFL, they helped Sam Howell maintain his title as the most sacked quarterback, hitting him with 6 sacks, and they had 1 interception. It was a great effort, as they held the Commanders to converting just one of their 15 third downs.
Then to ensure this low scoring 14-7 win for the Giants, they also had to make a last minute goal line stand. Dexter Lawrence led the team with two sacks, and Kayvon Thibodeaux, who had 1 1/2, currently leads the defense with 8.5 of their total 15.
As the Commanders did, the Giants also made a move before the trade deadline that affects their defense. Leonard Williams was traded to the Seahawks for two draft picks. The Commanders got to see Williams last week when he came up with one sack in their loss to Seattle. Since the Williams trade, the Giants have recorded no sacks, and given up a lot of total yards and points.
Last time the Commanders threw the ball 42 times, and rushed just 19 times. The Giants have seen that Howell has improved over the last three games. In each one he's thrown for over 300 yards, after doing that just once in the seven games before that. Howell also threw 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. The secondary will have to stay alert the way things have been going. In the Giants last game with the Commanders Terry McLaurin had two long receptions, 42 and 31 yards.

The last time these teams played, the Giants won 14-7, and have lost the next three after that. The last two were by large margins. The Commanders went on to win one game and lose two, all highly contested. The Commanders are favored to win on Sunday, even though they have that one loss to the Giants.
That would even things up in the NFC East division games where the Commanders are 0-3, and the Giants are 1-2 .Both teams still have a chance to finish with a winning record on the season, and we'll have to see if the Giants can
make that happen.

NFC East Games
Sunday at 1:00pm Giants (2-8) at Washington (4-6)
Sunday at 1:00pm Cowboys (6-3) at Panthers (1-8)
Monday at 8:15pm Eagles (8-1) at Chiefs (7-2)
The Commanders and Cowboys are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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Next Games
Nov 26 Patriots at Giants
Dec 11 Packers at Giants

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