Redskins must avoid letdown against tanking Giants

Ben Krimmel
October 25, 2018 - 3:13 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins have a chance to string together three-straight wins for the first time since October 2016, but they must avoid the trappings of overconfidence Sunday against the 1-6 New York Giants.

"This game is of critical importance and if you're a Redskins fan, you gotta hope the players are treating it that way," The Athletic's Tarik El-Bashir told The Sports Junkies Thursday. "This (Redskins) team has really been good at patting itself on the back the week after a win and going, 'Ah, we're good.' And taking a foot off the gas. And they're joking around and practice isn't as sharp or as focused as it needs to be. You hope that they've learned something." 


"They have this difficulty stringing together back-to-back wins," EB said. "They have this difficulty handling prosperity, handling success."

Much like the Cowboys, the Giants have recently been a particularly tricky foe for the Redskins, as Washington has lost eight of the last 12 games against its NFC East rivals. 

"The Giants have won four of their last 23 football games," El-Bashir said, "two of those wins have come against Washington. So there is reason to be concerned. And I would say, you hope the players in that locker room were listening carefully when Trent Williams was speaking yesterday and was talking about how a wounded animal when cornered is at its most dangerous."

"So on paper there is no way they should be able to beat the Redskins, but look, strange things have happened to the Redskins there in the Meadowlands," El-Bashir said. "And they certainly need to come in there expecting a fight."

"They definitely can beat us, there's no doubt about it, and I expect a letdown," EB said, "because you can't rely on this team, for whatever reason, you can't." 

"They've got to come... into MetLife Stadium with the hair on their neck up," El-Bashir said. "Anyone who is expecting the Giants to just roll over for the Redskins is gonna be sadly mistaken." 

Like the Week 7 win over the Cowboys, Sunday's game against the Giants is another opportunity for the Redskins to cement their status as a playoff-ready squad and the team to beat in the NFC East. Both Football Outsiders and FiveThirtyEight give the Redskins the best chance at winning the NFC East, at 55.7 percent and 41 percent respectively. While ESPN's Football Power Index has Washington (32 percent) as second choice to Philadelphia (35.5 percent).

"I don't want to get too excited because, you know, the Redskins are still the Redskins," El-Bashir said. "There is a good chance this team is going to have a playoff-berth at the end of the year."

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