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Jason Pierre-Paul will be gunning for Griffin when the two teams meet.
From a quarterback’s perspective, the thing that sticks out when surveying the Giants’ roster is the quality of the pass rush. Regardless of the trust he has in his line—which may have diminished slightly following the game against the Bears—he will be praying that they do their job against the Giants.
Jason Pierre-Paul got the better of Trent Williams during their meeting last year, by quite some distance. Griffin will hope that Williams’ new-found commitment and form will extend to their meetings late in the season.
The rest of the pass rush is equally as intimidating. It’s reasonable to expect both Osi Umeniyora and Justin Tuck to be better in 2012, which is depressing enough, but when you factor in Pierre-Paul’s own improvement in his third year it’s flat-out unfair that a rookie QB should have to face them twice.
However, the thing that both Griffin and Redskins fans can cling to is the fact that they beat them twice last year with Rex Grossman under center and a banged-up O-line. Why can’t they do it again with the improvements they’ve made?
If this is to happen, there will be things needed that go beyond Griffin, but I’ll focus on his responsibilities since that’s the whole point of this exercise.
The first thing Griffin absolutely must do is get the ball out on time. That is going to be integral to the whole Redskins campaign, but it is particularly valid in this case.
The quality of the Giants defensive line means that he will have less time to run through his progressions and make his reads, so he must be quick and decisive when releasing the ball. If he needs to throw it away then that’s exactly what he should do.
Extending the play in the manner that we saw in Chicago won’t be tolerated here, but Griffin will know this, as well as having six weeks of full NFL experience in the bank. He learns fast, but he will need to here.
In addition to releasing the ball in a timely manner, Griffin must lean on his running backs to keep the defense honest. In the December fixture last year we saw some innovative play-calling from Kyle Shanahan that got the run game going—thus opening up the defense for exploitation via the pass—and he should look to do the same this year.
Following the game, HogsHaven.com wrote an excellent analysis that broke down the gimmick plays and illustrated how the Redskins out-thought a supposedly superior opponent and came out on top.