The New York Giants will face off against a winless Washington Redskins team in week four of the regular season on Sunday. The Giants are coming off their first win of the year behind rookie passer Daniel Jones.
Throwing for 336 yards and two touchdowns, accompanied by two rushing scores, Jones is in a position to continue his success in just his second start in the NFL.
The rookie’s home debut will be exciting, but the Washington Redskins are no easy team to play, especially as a division rival with safety Landon Collins seeking revenge.
Here are three New York Giants players they need to step up:
1.) Ryan Connelly
With linebackers Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis both missing Sunday’s matchup against Washington, rookie Ryan Connelly will be the catalyst the position.
Already ascending to the top linebacker spot for Big Blue, Connelly is in a position to lead the unit and show that he can communicate with the defense. After three difficult weeks in the first half of games, Ryan has stood his ground and made consistent plays to help the defense get off the field.
In week three against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Connelly made an essential stop on third-and-two on the Giants’ 5-yard-line to hold their opponents to a field goal. This ultimately allowed the offense to score a touchdown and take the lead — a pivotal moment in the game and a testament to his speed and efficiency in the open field.
The Giants need him to step up in the absence of Ogletree and Davis — this game represents a big challenge for Connelly, which I think is more than capable of handling.
2.) Janoris Jenkins
After being tortured by Mike Evans for 190 yards and three touchdowns last week, Janoris Jenkins will need to elevate his game and play like the cornerback he’s capable of being. He will have a tough matchup against Terry McLaurin, a young wide receiver that is rising in the NFL.
The Redskins top pass-catcher struggled with a hamstring injury this week and could be on a snap count, which would benefit Jenkins. However, stopping him will allow the defense to increase their efficiency and make third-down plays to keep the offense on the field.
Ultimately, Jenkins is on this list because we need to see a quality bounce-back performance from him. If the Giants can go into week five at 2-2, they will gain back Golden Tate and be in a position to succeed moving forward.
3.) Wayne Gallman
With Saquon Barkley missing time due to a high ankle sprain, the Giants will roll with number two running back Wayne Gallman on Sunday. Gallman has been waiting for this opportunity, and in his third season, he will receive it. The Giants expect him to be an in-between the tackles runner and pick up yards to help the offense move the chains. Having a balanced offense is part of head coach Pat Shurmur’s game plan, meaning Wayne must provide value to support the overall production of the offense.
The Giants offense of line has ranked in the top five this year so far in the run game. Gallman should have the resources necessary to break off a few solid runs. However, most of his value will come in the form of protecting Daniel Jones and allowing him to operate at a high-level.