3. Antonio Gibson leads the way.
Though Teddy Bridgewater’s efficient play through the air was the common talk of their Week 1 battle, the New York Giants allowed over 160 rushing yards on Sunday.
The Broncos offensive line was dominant, as they freed up holes for guys like Melvin Gordon to average over nine yards per carry. Though Washington’s pass blocking was full of questions, guys like rookie Samuel Cosmi, Ereck Flowers and Brandon Scherff proved they can make things happen as zone-blockers, opening holes for Antonio Gibson.
For a Giants defense that underachieved against a sub-par Denver offense that lost wideout Jerry Jeudy mid-game, one weakness has been evident:
The Giants struggle to stop the run.
Though Melvin Gordon gained 70 yards on one rushing attempt, the Giants were gashed for over 160 yards at an average yards per carry clip of nearly six yards.
That’s important when facing a guy like Antonio Gibson, who has a career yards per carry mark of nearly five per touch.
Washington’s questionable passing offense could make the Giants load the box to seven or eight defenders at the time of the snap. But considering you have weapons like Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, and Dyami Brown, I’m unsure if New York takes the risk of loading the box and playing press-man against targets that can win with ease.
Thus, Washington must play efficient football that starts on the ground. Considering this team ran the football seven more times than they attempted a pass, I think the answer is clear:
The Football Team will look to run the ball and set the tone with their bell-cow being Antonio Gibson.
The question will turn to whether or not New York will be able to stop them, but with their Week 1 showing on tape, I’d expect a heavy and efficient dose of Gibson this week.
But the performance won’t only be on the ground, as you can expect this Washington offense to feature a ton of quick routes and passes out in the flat, where guys like Gibson, McLaurin and J.D. McKissic can eat up some YAC and make plays.
It’ll be a performance that Washington needs should they win this ballgame on Thursday evening. Check the box score after Thursday’s contest, if the Football Team is victorious, I’d expect around 100 yards on the ground in addition to a minimum of three catches for the wide receiver turned running back.
I believe he’ll finish with just that. Washington will ultimately get the victory in what is a close yet impressive bounce back victory against a division opponent they’ve failed to defeat in two seasons. This will be strength on weakness, with the Football Team’s questionable offense grabbing the edge in what is a defensive battle.
The combination of Washington’s heavy use of man-coverage against a Quarterback that’s proven to struggle mightily against it, to the major dose of touches from Washington’s second best offensive player which will ultimately lead to Washington winning the T.O.P. battle will prevail for your Burgundy and Gold.