The Redskins face a tough test Sunday afternoon as they try to slow down Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his arsenal of weapons, including Odell Beckham Jr.
For the first time since 2013, the Redskins have opened up the season with back-to-back losses. The Redskins travel to East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday to face the undefeated New York Giants, and need a win to stay in the early division race.
In order to win, the Redskins must slow down Giants quarterback Eli Manning and the talented New York offense. The 13-year veteran is playing some of the best football of his career under new head coach Ben Mcadoo, who served as Giants offensive coordinator the past two seasons.
Linebacker Trent Murphy -- who had 1.5 sacks last week -- said generating a pass rush against Manning will be important "more than ever."
"Eli gets the ball out fast," Murphy said. "He's a great quarterback. He's very poised. The more you can disrupt somebody like that, the more success you're going to have on defense."
"You've got to get people in his face," linebacker Mason Foster added. "Everybody just does their job and we'll be alright."
Over the past three years, Manning has quietly been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Last season, he threw for a career high 35 touchdown passes.
In wins over the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints, Manning has thrown for a combined 575 yards, three touchdowns, and just one interception. He is completing just fewer than 74 percent of his passes, which leads the NFL. Since the Giants acquired Manning in a draft day trade in 2004, he has started nearly every game for them.
While he's had various weapons over the years, Odell Beckham Jr. may be his best weapon to date and he's just starting his third season. The Giants All-Pro receiver has notched back-to-back 1,300 yard seasons.
This year, the Giants passing attack has been much more balanced thus far. Two games in, Beckham has yet to score a touchdown.
With the return of former pro-bowl receiver Victor Cruz, as well as the emergence of rookie Sterling Shepherd, the Giants are on pace to have three receivers top 1,000 yards on the season.
With a fully healthy receiving core, Manning and the Giants look ready to take the next step. The Redskins defense has a tremendous opportunity to make a statement this week by limiting the Giants aerial attack on Sunday.
But they must get the Giants offense into third-and-long situations, meaning Manning has to either test his accuracy deep or get into checkdown siutations.
"It just comes down to us executing and giving ourselves the opportunity to do those things," safety David Bruton Jr. said. "Because again, third-and-one, third-and-two, you don't get to exercise disguising and things of that nature. So again, you're kind of behind the eight-ball."