Sunday’s game in New York vs the Giants will be the first division game of the season for the Washington Redskins. The winner of the game will be in first place of the NFC East which creates even more intensity and urgency to an already big game. The NFC East is known as the toughest division in football and the trademark of the division is what we call “big boy football” tough, physical, hard nosed play, along with dominating the line of scrimmage and running the ball down the other team’s throat.
And that description brings me to my key to victory, which is to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Firstly on offense...the oline must fire off the ball and get good push in the run game, and then give Rookie Quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III enough time in the pocket to complete passes and get in rhythm in the passing game. The two go hand in hand, creating running room for Alfred Morris will force the Giants to overcompensate and bring extra defenders in the box and up to the line of scrimmage to try and stop the run. And when they do that Griffin, better known as RG3, can start to work the playaction game...which he has been deadly at so far this season.
On defense the Redskins defensive line must dominate the line of scrimmage and stop the run first and foremost. It is imperative for the Skins to be able to stop the run with just their front seven, so they aren’t forced to overcompensate on the run allowing them to keep defenders back in the secondary to help out stopping Eli Manning and the Giants passing game.
Eli Manning is off to a great start of the season, after proving that he is indeed elite in an championship season last year. Manning has two dangerous threats at receiver in Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. The key to stopping this prolific passing attack is to get pressure on Eli Manning, not giving him time to read the defense and spread the ball around to those dangerous receivers.
The Skins must get specific pressure on Manning. Pressure up the middle is what bothers Manning the most. He can avoid pressure from the outside by stepping up in the pocket, but he can't step up in the pocket if there’s pressure up the middle. Pressure up the middle also has been proven to rattle Manning in the past. He is prone to making boneheaded throws when he’s flustered and doesn;t have time to move around in the pocket and to read the defense.
While there are many ways to win and lose games in the NFL, such as winning the turnover battle, making and limiting big plays, playing well in all three phases of the game, capitalizing on opportunities and so on. When it comes down to it the main key to victory is dominating and controlling the line of scrimmage, anyone who has played and excelled in the game knows this. If the Redskins do this then they will be in first place in the division on Monday and all of Redskins Nation will be singing Hail To The Redskins!!!