Over the past few seasons, neither the Washington Football Team nor the New York Giants have been winning franchises. So, although they face one another twice a year, it's been hard for many on the outside to consider the two NFC East foes as true rivals.
Don't tell that to Giants safety Jabrill Peppers, though.
On Tuesday, Peppers was asked whether he felt if New York's Week 2 contest against Washington was more important than any other game. His response made it seem as if so.
"Well, every game is important. This is a division game. We don’t like them. They don’t like us," Peppers said. "So that’s where my head’s at right now."
Peppers is now in his third season with the Giants, meaning he's become plenty familiar with Washington having played them a handful of times. He's always seemed to have a bit of extra juice when playing the Burgundy and Gold, too.
In 2019, Peppers' first game against Washington, he got into it with ex-Giants safety Landon Collins following the game. Collins, who was playing his former team for the first time, had to be held back by several players following New York's 24-3 victory over Washington.
After the game, Collins had some not-so-kind words to say about Peppers following their on-field exchange.
"He just started yapping ... If I had a good game, I’m not going to sit there and trash talk the opponent, especially a guy that’s been doing it way longer than you and better than you," Collins said postgame. "He made his first play today in four weeks? I mean, I made plenty of plays in that jersey and I’m still making plays. He just started talking. You know I’m not that kind of person, so for me to get that way, you’ve got to start talking to me."
For Peppers, he'll be looking to bounce back on Thursday following a down performance in New York's Week 1 loss to Denver. Peppers played in just about half of New York's defensive snaps in Week 1, something he was clearly frustrated about following the game.
"When my number is called, do a better job than I did last week. I’ve got to play better press technique," Peppers said. "When my number is called just make sure I do what I’ve got to do." Coverage for Washington vs. Giants begins Thursday at 7 p.m. with Washington Football Kickoff Live on NBC Sports Washington and the MyTeams app. Coverage continues immediately following the game with Washington Football Postgame Live.