Trap game? For these Washington Redskins?
Adrian Peterson dismissed the notion out of hand when asked if the Redskins game against the struggling New York Giants on Sunday could lead to a letdown for Washington.
"Trap game? We lost to the Colts earlier this year," the veteran running back said on Wednesday.
Peterson's indignation aside, the Redskins aren't a team that has handled success particularly well. Fans of the Burgundy and Gold can point to depressing defeats at the hands of the Giants each of the past two seasons as evidence of the organization's recent ineptitude against Big Blue.
Last year, the 'Skins played an awful game in Week 17 in the Meadowlands, giving the Giants one of their three wins on the year. In 2016, the 'Skins laid another stinker, this time in a home Week 17 game against the Giants with a playoff berth on the line.
Now, the situation again presents itself.
The Redskins are 4-2 and in first place in the NFC East. The Giants are 1-6 and just traded away two defensive starters for future draft picks.
If ever there was a recipe for a trap game, this is it.
"It's the NFL, you have to come prepared no matter what the situation is. No matter what the record is," Peterson said. "We're focused, we're locked in."
That's good because dig a little deeper and the records don't indicate the full story.
The Redskins won their last two games by the narrowest of margins, and could have lost or tied on the final play of each victory. In New York, the last few losses have been equally close, just the Giants were on the wrong end of the ledger.
"They're a good football team. I mean, turn on the tape," redskins QB Alex Smith said. "I think the bunch of games they’ve been in, had chances to win versus really good football teams."
Washington head coach Jay Gruden might be trying his best Joe Gibbs impression this week, hyping up a bad team, but the Giants do have plenty of talent. Everyone knows about Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley, but defensive playmakers like Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins have made big plays against the Redskins in the past.
"We're getting prepared for the Giants and expect a very hard fought game like it always is with the Giants," Gruden said Wednesday.
It seems the Redskins players and coaches are all saying the right things leading into the matchup in New York.
That's great, but it won't matter come Sunday afternoon. Gruden's bunch needs to show up ready to play.
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