One of the best ways to stop the defending champion Giants is to get to Pro Bowl quarterback Eli Manning.
Getting there, however, is significantly easier said than done.
Manning has been sacked only four times – and three of them came in the season-opening loss to the Cowboys. In the past three games, in fact, the Giants’ quarterback hasn’t been sacked once.
Manning’s sack total ranks fewer than 31 other quarterbacks and is the lowest among signal callers with at least 100-pass attempts. For comparison’s sake, the Cardinals’ Kevin Kolb has been sacked 27 times.
Manning praised the Giants’ Chris Snee led-offensive line for providing excellent protection and the running backs for recognizing – and picking up – blitzes.
“When you don’t have many sacks, it’s a combination of a lot of things,” Manning said. “The offensive line, obviously, playing well and doing a great job with one-on-one blocks and picking up blitzes. …And when you’re running the ball well, that slows down the pass rush a little bit.”
Redskins’ defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, though, gave the majority of the credit to Manning.
“A lot of it is he’s smart in the pocket,” Haslett said. “He slides in the pocket. He stays alive. He knows when to get out of the pocket.”
Although the Redskins’ front-7 generated a stronger push against the Vikings thanks to some personnel changes, the pass rush has mostly been inconsistent since Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo and end Adam Carriker were lost for the season in Week 2. The unit’s 12 sacks, in fact, are tied for 18th in the league.
It’s a big challenge, but it’s one the Redskins know they must meet.
“We have to be disciplined in our rush,” Haslett said. “And relentless to disrupt the passing game.”