The Redskins have their eyes on an NFC East title, but need a strong performance against the New York Giants in Week 8 at Metlife Stadium to do so before the Giants making the trip to Washington on Week 14.
New York Key Additions: Signed OT Nate Solder, DE/OLB Kareem Martin, RB Jonathan Stewart, G Patrick Omameh, S Will Gray, S Michael Thomas, WR Cody Latimer, LB Alec Ogletree (via trade)
New York Key Subtractions: WR Brandon Marshall, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, G/OT Justin Pugh, C Weston Richburg, CB Ross Crockwell, QB Geno Smith, OLB Devon Kennard, G/OT D.J. Fluker, S Nat Berhe, WR/KR Dwayne Harris,
Washington's first date with New York for the 2018 season begins on the road at Metlife Stadium, a place the Redskins will look to reverse a trend. Since the stadium opened in 2010, the Redskins hold a 2-7 record in New York against the Giants.
While the Giants ended on a positive note by beating the Redskins in the final game of the 2017 regular season, they had a number of problems during last year's campaign. After replacing embattled head coach Ben McAdoo in the middle of the season, New York only managed to come up with a 3-13 record and their worst finish since 1983.
One of the issues that first-year head coach Pat Shurmur is looking to address is the offense, which ranked 21st in yards per game. The Giants had trouble getting into the end zone, only managing to put up 15.4 points per game and scored the second-lowest points in the NFL last season.
With the running backs only coming up with 3.9 yards per carry in 2017, the Giants used the second-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to obtain an expected future star at the position.
Saquon Barkley from Penn State had no problems scoring during his time in college. He finished his career as a Nittany Lion as the school's all-time rushing touchdown leader with .
The two-time offensive Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year helped Penn State to the first Big Ten title since 2008 as a sophomore, guiding the Nittany Lions to a trip to the Rose Bowl. Barkley capped off his college career by rushing for 139 yards in the Fiesta Bowl, setting the record for the longest play in the bowl game's history with a 92-yard run.
In order to create holes in the backfield for Barkley, the Giants needed to upgrade their offensive line. With Justin Pugh signing with the Arizona Cardinals during the offseason, New York needed bodies that could create running lanes.
Adding former UTEP guard Will Hernandez in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft also gives the Giants an impactful offensive lineman who saw his draft stock rise at the NFL Combine. He assisted the Miners in ranking third in Conference USA in rushing and is expected to hit the ground running with New York up front.
Signing Nate Solder from the New England Patriots and Patrick Omameh from the Jacksonville Jaguars should also strengthen the Giants' run and pass protection. While Solder is not coming off of his best season due to various injuries, he showed tremendous toughness on the field by not missing a single game.
If the Giants are going to have any improvement in 2018, their passing game is an area that must get better in order to be successful. Not having star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for 16 games due to injury hurt the Giants through the air, with the five-year veteran only coming up with 302 receiving yards in four games after compiling more than 1,000 yards during his first three years in the league.
New York was left to rely on Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard during the 2017 season, who each had more than 700 receiving yards, respectively. The Giants did not have a receiver had only one other receiver who finished with over 350 receiving yards and some of the pieces they brought in did not perform as expected. Thirteen-year veteran Brandon Marshall had a career-low in his lone season with the Giants, coming up with only 154 yards in five games before being released in the offseason.