Redskins Breakdown: Balanced offense, fierce defense take down Giants
Defense: Pressure on Manning, coverage of Engram key to victory
The Redskins appeared to focus on two main areas in this game on the defensive side of the ball. Pressuring Eli Manning, and covering Evan Engram. Both were smart areas to focus on.
For a majority of the night, the Redskins pass rushers were able to put a lot of heat on Manning. Ryan Kerrigan finished the game with two sacks, and on numerous other occasions, he was able to make undrafted rookie tackle Chad Wheeler look bad. Wheeler can’t be blamed too much. Kerrigan is one of the better pass rushers in the league, and puts consistent heat on opposing quarterbacks each week.
On the other side, Ereck Flowers looked surprisingly good at times, but he was inconsistent at the best. He allowed the key strip sack fumble on fourth down that set up the Redskins to score the field goal that put the game out of reach. Junior Galette, a savvy veteran, seemed to be the player that gave him the most trouble. Galette’s emergence was a good sign for the Redskins, as they can now use him and Preston Smith interchangeably as they see fit.
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Elsewhere, covering Evan Engram was not supposed to be an easy task. But with Sterling Shepard out for another week with a migraine, Engram became the No. 1 option on the Giants defense. He didn’t deal with it well.
The Redskins generally did well to contain Engram, making sure they had players near him at all times and double covering a lot, but the rookie didn’t help himself. He dropped three catchable passes and wasn’t able to generate any yards after the catch due to the Redskins swarming defense. That was key to stopping the Giants.
Overall, it was a great day for Greg Manusky’s unit. They were able to control the game and in particular, dominated the second half. Any time a team forces nine punts, the defense deserves a lot of credit.