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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ--Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 25, the day the Washington Redskins visit the New York Giants.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Giants 1 p.m. FOX

Days until: Browns @ Redskins 7; Redskins @ Ravens 14; Eagles @ Redskins 21

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

—News came out this morning that Rashad Jennings, who is the Giants’ leading rusher, will be out with a broken thumb. That will have some impact on today’s game but Shane Vereen has been taken about 40 percent of the Giants rushing attempts so far this year and he is a more than capable fill in.

—Contrary to what you might think when a team is 2-0 the Giants are upside down in turnover margin. They have lost three fumbles and Eli Manning has thrown an interception. Rarely will a team that’s minus-four be 2-0 but they have survived. That either means that the Giants are resilient or that they or lucky. Or maybe a little of both. If the Giants have a negative margin today and still win the Redskins will be kicking themselves over a lost opportunity.

—In fact, against the Saints last week the Giants did not score an offensive touchdown, getting their only TD on a return of a blocked field goal attempt. And they lost those three fumbles. Since merger only four teams have won a game with no offenive touchdowns and a negative turnover margin. You might remember the last time it happened. It was the Bears beating the Cardinals in 2006 and the result had Arizona coach Dennis Green shouting “They are who we thought they were! And we let them off the hook!” Clearly the Saints let the Giants off the hook but Sean Peyton didn’t explode at the podium.

—The Giants are also underwater in sacks, getting two of them while giving up four. The Redskins will hope to add to the deficit today as second-year player Bobby Hart will fill in for injured right tackle Marshall Newhouse. Hart could be a matchup that Ryan Kerrigan can exploit. Meanwhile Olivier Vernon, who signed an $85 million free agent contract with the Giants last spring, has barely dented the stat sheet with no sacks and three tackles in two games. He will be matched up against Trent Williams.

— Will desperation overcome the Meadowlands jinx? I don’t think that it will. The problem is that the Redskins really don’t have anything to hang their hats on right now. The major facets of the game—running the ball, stopping the run, passing, pass defense—are all malfunctioning to one degree or another. Things could fall into place and the Redskins could come away with a win, perhaps an easy one. But based on what I’ve seen I can’t predict that.

Giants 24, Redskins 20

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it 

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Redskins offseason questions: Will Scot McCloughan go defense in 1st round?

Redskins offseason questions: Will Scot McCloughan go defense in 1st round?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: It's tag day

Will the Redskins go with a defensive player in the first round of the 2017 Draft?

Finlay: The Redskins haven't drafted a defensive player in the first round since 2011 when the franchise grabbed Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th pick. In fact, the team has only drafted five defensive players in the first round over the last 15 years. 

History suggests Washington will stay away from a defensive player, but sources in Ashburn have suggested otherwise. Assuming the talent is there when the 'Skins pick at No. 17, Scot McCloughan would like to bolster the team's defensive line specifically. 

Things will get complicated should Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook slide to 17. Rich Tandler certainly would like to see the Burgundy and Gold add a top-flight running back.

Tandler: Many fans believe that conducting a draft is like going into a grocery store with a list. Defensive lineman is at the top of the list so you go to aisle 12 and put a DL in the cart. Safety is next on the list so you push the cart over to that aisle and pick out one of those.

No, a draft is much more unpredictable. There might not be a defensive lineman who is close to worthy of the No. 17 pick when the Redskins are on the clock. Talk of taking the best available player is like fingernails on a chalkboard to some. But if you’re reaching for need in a draft, you’re losing that draft. Sure, if a player in a position of need is just a spot or two down from the best available you think about it. Still, staying true to your board is the way to build a team.

The other thing to consider here is that we haven’t gone through free agency yet. Needs will shift after that. Suppose the Redskins sign two starting-caliber D-linemen and lose both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson in free agency? Defensive line is no longer a five-alarm priority and receiver will be. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins free agent WR Pierre Garçon has simple question: 'Y'all hiring?'

Redskins free agent WR Pierre Garçon has simple question: 'Y'all hiring?'

Twice in the last five seasons Pierre Garçon logged more than 1,000 yards receiving as a member of the Washington Redskins, including the 2016 season. He's caught 376 passes in Washington for 21 touchdowns over 74 games.

Outside of a foot injury that cost his six games in 2012, Garçon has been arguably the Redskins most durable wide receiver, and he's known to be a hard worker in the weight room and the practice field. 

Despite all that, Garçon doesn't know that he will be back with the Burgundy and Gold once free agency opens. In fact, that uncertainty led the 30-year-old wideout to post a simple question on his Instagram page.

#YallHiring?

A post shared by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

The top of the Redskins offseason questions remains QB Kirk Cousins. Garçon and fellow wideout DeSean Jackson are headed for free agency, as is standout defensive lineman Chris Baker. Reports show that the team has made little to no contact with any of the players or their representatives, though many conversations could be planned for the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis later this month. 

Garçon's question seems simple, but the answer remains a mystery. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!