EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It would have been pretty tough to watch Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins on Monday night and come away too scared. The San Francisco 49ers destroyed them, instantly arriving in the backfield on basically every play, choking off the passing game and keeping Griffin in the pocket where they could tee off on him. It was a dream defensive game plan against an offense that doesn't look much like the one that was rolling toward a division title at this time last year.
But the New York Giants, who travel to Washington this weekend to play the Redskins on Sunday night, aren't taking them lightly. At 4-7, the Giants can't take anyone lightly. Plus, no matter what they see on their 2013 game film, the memories of how tough Griffin, Alfred Morris and the Redskins were to stop last year are still too fresh.
"I think we all know what he's capable of and what he can do in this league," Giants safety Antrel Rolle said of Griffin.
For all of their supposed struggles, the Redskins still rank seventh in the NFL in yards per game at 391.9 and second in the NFL in rushing yards per game at 150.2. Griffin may not be running as much as he did last year, but Morris is third in the league with 970 rushing yards so far.
"He's very hard to tackle for lost yardage," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said of Morris. "He's a positive-yardage guy. He's a downhill runner, which is Mike Shanahan's type in that zone-blocking scheme. You can hit him at two yards and he ends up getting six. I think they're getting yards a little differently than last year, but we've still got to be on our game. They present a lot of problems, especially for a defensive end. As a defensive end, you're going to see every block known to man. It requires a lot of preparation."
Tuck is in good shape and having a nice season, especially against the run. But Jason Pierre-Paul at the other defensive end is struggling seriously with a shoulder injury that kept him from even playing half of the team's defensive plays Sunday. Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the team was "trying" to work rookie Damontre Moore into the pass rush rotation more, but Moore hasn't advanced as quickly as the team would like, and so Mathias Kiwanuka is being asked to do more up front.
In the secondary, cornerback Trumaine McBride may have to miss the game with a groin injury, but Corey Webster is back practicing and could slide back into his old starting cornerback role to help Prince Amukamara handle big, physical Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon. The Giants will be prepared for the best of the Redskins' offense, and they'll hope they can make it look as bad as San Francisco did this past week.