There seems to be a little bit of a testy rivalry beginning to simmer between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. Maybe a better way to look at it is the re-awakening of a rivalry that has been mostly dormant for many years now.
Yes, I know the Redskins beat the Giants twice last season. Really, though, when is the last time the Redskins were any sort of real, consistent threat to the Giants for NFC East supremacy? It's been a while. These, though, aren't the Rex Grossman Redskins. Or the Jason Campbell Redskins. Or any of the bumbling Redskins teams of recent memory.
These are the Robert Griffin III Redskins, and they are going to be a thorn in the side of the Giants for a while.
They showed that in the Week 7 meeting at MetLife Stadium. The Giants survived, getting a 23-20 victory thanks to a late 77-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Victor Cruz. But, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall had a lot to say afterward about how the Giants didn't win -- rather the Redskins lost.
Hall continued his diatribe during a conference call earlier this week.
"Don’t want to take anything from them, but it was definitely a game that we felt we let get away from us. We match up good against these guys. They’re rolling right now, they’re a great football team, but we thought we match up well against them," Hall said.
He was asked to expand on that statement.
"Personnel-wise, that’s the reason we won two out of the last three times and had them right where we wanted them until we gave up that 77-yard play. Personnel-wise, we feel like we know them, they know us. We like our matchups, we like our guys vs. them; I’m sure they probably like their guys vs. us. It’s going to be a nice, dragged-out fight," Hall said.
To be honest, it's probably going to be a fight not just Monday night, but for the foreseeable future.
The Giants lead the NFC East at 7-4, two games ahead of the 5-6 Redskins.
When you look at the division the Philadelphia Eagles are obviously a mess. You have to belive they will be blowing up the program and starting over next season, so the Eagles and contending might not be in the same sentence for a little while. The Dallas Cowboys? Perennial under-achievers who never seem to add up to the sum of their parts. Dallas' 5-7 record is identical to Washington's, but which team scares you more? For me, that is the Redskins.
Cruz seemed to acknowledge the growing threat to the Giants that looms in Washington.
"They're on the rise, for sure," Cruz said. "I think they're still a couple of pieces away from actually being contenders and legitimate talks for playoffs and things like that. They're still a few pieces away, whether it be defensively or whatever they're missing. I think they have to be in the conversation. They've got a good team, they play good football, they hold the ball for a long time and they really do some good things."
That conversation still has to start with the defending champion Giants, and a victory Monday night means it will be a one-sided conversation for a while longer.
Still, it is obvious that the Redskins are now a team to be taken seriously.