The Washington Redskins open the season with a familiar opponent in the NFC East rival New York Giants, a team that swept Washington last season, winning handily in the first meeting and then edging the Redskins by a field goal in the 2010 finale.
Defensively, the Giants limp into the season and are expected to be without five starters. Offensively, the Giants again will be led by Eli Manning and the running back tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.
Given their familiarity with New York, Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo said the gameplan for Sunday’s game will be simple: “We’ve got to be sound against the run,” the third-year outside linebacker said.
Jacobs seemingly always does well against the Redskins, and last season, he averaged 7.2 yards a carry in two meetings with Washington. His best outing was the Week 13 outing in which he racked up 103 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries against the Redskins. The same game, Bradshaw had 97 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.
“That’s obviously a big run team with Jacobs and Bradshaw leading the way,” Orakpo continued. “We’ve got to man our gaps and one thing we’ve got to do is finish tackles, which is something we didn’t do well last season.”
Like the gameplan for the Giants game, Orakpo said the Redskins defense’s main focus this season also is simple: consistency.
“Just be consistent,” Orakpo said. “We had games where we dominated and games where we were all over the place. So, just be consistent.”