The New York Giants are gearing up for a big Week 2 matchup against the Washington Football Team, and most are coining it a “must-win” game for both teams. After a disappointing loss in Week 1 to the Denver Broncos, the Giants are trying to bounce back in a strong way as they take on backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
After Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury that put him on injured reserve, Heinicke stepped into the game. Over 15 passing attempts, Heinicke tallied 122 yards and a touchdown, recording a 70.1 QBR. Overall, he had a solid performance against Los Angeles, but with subpar arm talent, the Giants have the personnel to take advantage.
On the defensive side, the Giants blitzed more in Week 1 than in any game last year, showcasing a shift in strategy. With Patrick Graham attempting to substitute to a more man-coverage-based scheme, the goal will be to get after Heinicke and put him under immediate pressure.
One of the Giants’ key defenders, Jabrill Peppers, struggled in the opening game of the season, as he allowed four receptions on four targets for 34 yards. Peppers gave up several third-down conversions and catches in the red zone, which forced Graham to go in a different direction defensively.
“Subpar,” Peppers said. “I gave up two big third downs. I gave up a catch in the red zone … the standard I hold myself to, those are the routes I usually cover in my sleep. It is what it is, man. I gotta go back to the drawing board, hone in and get better.”
“Well, every game is important. This is a division game. We don’t like them. They don’t like us,” Peppers said. “So that’s where my head’s at right now.”
The Giants have beaten Washington four consecutive times since Daniel Jones took over as the starting quarterback. They will be looking to extend that streak, as Washington’s signal-caller issues presents Big Blue with a great opportunity to smooth over the fan base after an embarrassing loss to Denver.