All-32: Can Washington Contain Daniel Jones' Scrambles?

New York Giants QB Daniel Jones
New York Giants QB Daniel Jones
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Welcome to All-32, a game-by-game preview of every matchup on the NFL slate each week. The goal is to provide a look at the most critical part of each game with a marriage of data and film study. As the season rolls along, the focus will narrow in on the specifics, but for this week, many of the featured players and units are big-picture projections for the teams in question.

If you're interested in our game picks, you can find them on this page.

Let's get to it. All times listed as Eastern.

New York Giants at Washington Commanders—Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Key Player: NYG QB Daniel Jones

The Commanders have a bit of a reputation for getting gashed by quarterback runs, but that really hasn't happened this season.

The reputation may be lingering because of the volume of quarterback runs the Commanders have seen. Sports Info Solutions has the Commanders with the third-most quarterback runs faced this season behind the Lions and Seahawks. They have been plenty stout against those runs, though. The Commanders have allowed the third-lowest EPA per attempt against quarterback runs and the 10th-lowest rate of first downs on quarterback runs. Moreover, only 18% of quarterback runs against them generate at least 1 EPA for the offense, the sixth-lowest rate in the league.

That's going to be important in the team's second matchup against Daniel Jones this year. Jones ranks fourth in DYAR and seventh in DVOA as a runner among quarterbacks this season. Both on designed runs and as a scrambler, Jones' legs have been a core part of the Giants' offensive attack. More than that, Jones fared well against the Commanders on the ground the last time around. On 10 non-sneak carries, Jones earned 68 yards and six first downs. That was enough to keep the Giants in the game for about three quarters before Washington caught up and forced Jones into passer mode in the fourth quarter and overtime.

The efficacy of Jones' rushes may again decide how close this game is. Right now, the Commanders are the better and healthier team, but another good day out of Jones just might be enough to close the gap some. The Commanders defense, particularly the second- and third-level defenders, have to step up to keep Jones quiet.