The New York Giants have a massive game coming up against the Washington Commanders on Sunday evening, which was flexed to the later time slot given the magnitude.
The Week 15 showdown has playoff implications, meaning the Giants would take a huge statistical lead for a postseason berth if they overcome Washington and vice-versa.
Nonetheless, the Giants are an ailing team that has sustained a serious amount of injuries over the past few weeks. They are expected to get back one of their key defensive contributors, Leonard Williams.
Williams is currently listed as questionable on the injury report with a neck injury he sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend. He was moving well in practice, reportedly, and is expected to play, which is a huge bonus for a team that desperately needs him.
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The New York Giants aren’t the same without Leonard Williams:
Williams has played in 475 snaps this season, accumulating 25 pressures, two sacks, and 20 stops. Despite being consistently healthy and reliable throughout his career, Williams has gone through a tumultuous season with one year left on his deal in 2023.
Over the past few weeks, the Giants have been susceptible on the ground, failing to stop opposing running games. Not having Williams is a significant problem, but their lackluster linebacking corps also presents a big issue.
Against Philadelphia last Sunday, the Giants allowed a staggering 253 yards on the ground, including 144 from Miles Sanders and 77 from Jalen Hurts. They gave up four rushing touchdowns in the process.
In the previous week against Washington, they allowed 165 rushing yards, including 169 and two touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
Ultimately, the Giants have a multitude of weaknesses, but getting Williams back should improve their run defense significantly. They will need far more from their linebackers, but the pass rush will ultimately be the biggest catalyst in walking away with a victory. Forcing Taylor Heinicke to make bad choices and difficult throws is the key to victory for Big Blue.