Skid­ding Giants fac­ing ques­tions about fu­ture

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Nfl -

EAST RUTHER­FORD, N.J. — The Wash­ing­ton Red­skins could not have picked a bet­ter time to play the New York Giants.

The NFC East-lead­ing Red­skins (4-2) have won two straight, are com­ing off a big win over Dal­las, and now face a team that’s seen its man­age­ment trade cor­ner­back Eli Ap­ple and de­fen­sive tackle Da­mon Har­ri­son — two starters — for late-round draft picks in the week lead­ing to Tues­day’s NFL trad­ing dead­line.

It’s clearly a house­clean­ing as the Giants (1-6) strug­gle through a sec­ond straight dis­mal sea­son.

How the Giants re­act re­mains to be seen.

The bot­tom line is the Red­skins should be lick­ing their chops head­ing into Sun­day’s game at MetLife Sta­dium. New York has lost four in a row and won four times in 23 games over the last two sea­sons.

Wash­ing­ton left tackle Trent Williams is wary, in­sist­ing the so-called easy game might be a dis­trac­tion.

“You’re go­ing through so much that foot­ball is your sanc­tu­ary,” Williams said of the Giants. “Foot­ball is where you kind of go to let off frus­tra­tion. We can go in there and look at them from an out­side per­spec­tive and say, ‘All right, they’re go­ing through a lot. They should eas­ily lay down and let us win this game.’

“In re­al­ity, no mat­ter what they’re go­ing through, play­ing on Sun­day can fix ev­ery­thing. When your build­ing is on fire and you win, it kind of puts it off for a sec­ond.”

The Giants were adamant in say­ing they will show up Sun­day.

“We’re not throw­ing in the towel at all,” said B.W. Webb, who will prob­a­bly re­place Ap­ple. “That’s dis­re­spect­ful to us play­ers. We don’t go into any game think­ing we’re just go­ing to throw it away. We fight every week for our fam­i­lies, our kids and each other. It’s dis­re­spect­ful when we hear that, that some­one says we’re tank­ing or some­thing like that.”

ALL DAY, NOT EVERY DAY

Adrian Peter­son still is pro­duc­ing at age 33, with four games of at least 95 yards rush­ing, and 10th in the NFL with 438 yards de­spite deal­ing with shoul­der and knee in­juries. With a ca­reer to­tal of 12,714 en­ter­ing Sun­day, the guy nick­named “AD” — as in “All Day” — needs only 26 to sur­pass Tony Dorsett and move into ninth in league his­tory.

In a nod to Peter­son’s age and health, coach Jay Gru­den is giv­ing his start­ing run­ning back Wed­nes­days off. “The crazy thing is, I don’t like it. I’d rather be out there, prac­tic­ing with those guys. But (I’m) be­ing smart; I’ve been around for a long time. I think I’ve paid my dues,” Peter­son said.

TRADE AF­TER­MATH

The trades of Ap­ple to the Saints and Har­ri­son to the Lions cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for Webb and tackle Dalvin Tom­lin­son. Webb has been the Giants’ nickel back. He prob­a­bly will start at cor­ner­back, like he did when Ap­ple missed a game in Hous­ton with a groin in­jury. Co­in­ci­den­tally, the Giants won. Tom­lin­son has been in the ro­ta­tion at tackle. He prob­a­bly will start with rookie B.J. Hill.

With Har­ri­son gone, the Skins are sure to test them with Peter­son.

WATCH­ING SAQUON

Just like ev­ery­one else who watches foot­ball, Peter­son has been im­pressed by Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley. “From what I’ve seen so far, he shows some God-given abil­ity. Great pa­tience. His lower-body strength and bal­ance is amaz­ing. He flows,” Peter­son said. “I al­ways sit back and watch young guys when they come in, and he’s one of those guys that re­ally ex­cites me.”

O-LINE

The Giants thought they solved their of­fen­sive line prob­lems sign­ing left tackle Nate Solder and guard Pat Omameh as free agents and draft­ing guard Will Her­nan­dez in the sec­ond round. De­spite hav­ing Barkley in the back­field, the Giants rank 30th in rush­ing and Eli Man­ning has been sacked 24 times. Solder and Her­nan­dez have strug­gled on the left side the past two weeks.

John Baze­more / As­so­ci­ated Press

Giants run­ning back Saquon Barkley car­ries the ball against the Fal­cons in Mon­day’s game in At­lanta.

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