If the Giants are going to get their first division win of the season on Sunday, they must do a better job of stopping Adrian Peterson than they did in Week 8.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—The New York Giants (4-8) are in search of their first division win of the season as they take on the Washington Redskins (6-6) Sunday at FedEx Field.
When these two teams met in Week 8, the Redskins won 20-13 thanks in large part to Adrian Peterson.
The 33-year-old rushed for 149 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. His 64-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter essentially sealed the game for Washington.
In that gam,e the Redskins had Alex Smith at quarterback, but now they’re down to third-stringer Mark Sanchez. Therefore, you can expect their game plan will heavily revolve around Peterson, even more than it did in Week 8.
That’s why it’s imperative that this time around the Giants know they can’t allow Peterson to have the same success if they want to win on Sunday.
Stopping a running back as good as Peterson is never easy. It will be even harder for the Giants as they’ll be without their two-time Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins.
Collins will be put on injured reserve due to a partially torn labrum that will require surgery. He suffered the injury during the Giants’ 30-27 overtime victory against the Bears on Sunday.
Despite what most consider a down year for Collins, he was leading the team in tackles with 96. Also, he forced a Peterson fumble in the Week-8 matchup. Now the Giants will have to carry on without one of their best defensive players.
Head coach Pat Shurmur was asked how the Giants will go about replacing Collins.
“We’re going to do it with the guys that have been playing. Sean Chandler will be in there, we still have the guys that have been playing, and we’ll just try to work the next man up.”
On Wednesday, safety Michael Thomas discussed what the secondary has to do without their leader.
“Everybody at the same time has to do their job. Do your job. If you’re in for him, you got a new role, you got to just make sure you communicate. It’s not going to be one guy that’s just going to replace LC. Everybody’s got to step up and do your job, do whatever James Bettcher and coach Lou Anarumo are asking us to do.”
The Giants are ranked 24th against the run, giving up 124 yards per game. But their ranking doesn’t tell the whole story, as in their last five games, since trading Damon Harrison, the Giants have given up an average of 140 yards a game.
The Giants will need Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill and the rest of the front seven to win the battle at the line of scrimmage. They’ll do so against a Redskins line that will be without guard Jonathan Cooper, who was put on IR after tearing his bicep last week.
The Giants will also bring a safety in the box often to help stop Peterson and to dare Sanchez to beat them.
Despite being a long shot to make the playoffs, the Giants are still playing with pride and desperately want to get their first division win of the season. If they can stop Peterson on Sunday they’ll get just that.