SNIDER: Redskins-Giants is a tell-all game

Rick Snider
October 26, 2018 - 9:54 am
Saquon_Barkley

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

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It's time for the Washington Redskins to prove themselves, not against a great team, but a bad one.

The New York Giants are 1-6. They have a few good players as every NFL team does, but if the Redskins don't beat them on Sunday, then Washington is a bunch of posers sitting atop a bad division after a couple of lucky wins.

This is the classic trap game that has ensnared the Redskins far too often over the years. Like the end of last season when the 2-13 Giants beat them badly. The Giants are 4-20 in the last 1.5 seasons and two victories were over Washington.

If the Redskins are truly postseason contenders and not merely place sitting atop the NFC East until the Philadelphia Eagles wake up, then they need to beat the Giants. And, beat them badly. Show they can put away a team that is once more headed for the bottom of the NFL and already traded away a couple of players in hopes of bolstering next year's draft.

Washington coach Jay Gruden said, "It's the New York Giants and they're a good football team...."

Sorry coach, let me stop you right there. Nobody believes the Giants are a good team. As the immortal coach Bill Parcells once said, "You are what your record says you are" and the Giants record says they stink. Sure, they have potential Pro Bowlers in Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham, Jr., but that's why the Redskins drafted first-rounder Daron Payne and paid cornerback Josh Norman big money.

Pay no attention to the thought New York will play harder after two players were traded as a wake-up call. Maybe if the game was the next day, but by Sunday that emotion is gone. It's back to being a regular ballgame.

It would be natural for the Redskins to let down after playing several good teams and coming off victories over Carolina and Dallas. But Gruden is using an old tactic of pumping up a rival. Sure, any team can win on a given Sunday in the NFL. That's a proven. But Washington shouldn't lose to New York.

"You look at the NFL season and teams that are 1-6 and teams that are 4-2, a play here a play here," Gruden said. "We could be 1-6. They could be . . .  you never know."

We'll know Sunday whether the Redskins are legit contenders at 5-2 or just a tease at 4-3.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks