- Associated Press
Thursday, September 26, 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New York Giants and Washington Redskins haven’t been to the playoffs much since 2012, and the way things are going this season that’s not likely to change.

The Redskins will be facing their first 0-4 start since 2001 when they come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to face the Giants (1-2), who breathed life into their season with a 32-31 victory over the Buccaneers in Tampa.


To get the spark, the Giants benched two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning. Daniel Jones, the sixth pick overall in the draft, responded by throwing for two touchdowns and running for two more in rallying them from an 18-point deficit.

The Giants were lucky, too. The Bucs missed a 34-yard field goal on the final play.

Which means this probably should be a game between two winless teams.

The slow start has put the future of Redskins coach Jay Gruden in jeopardy. Giants coach Pat Shurmur is a little better off after Jones justified his decision to bench Manning.

Since 2013, the Giants and Redskins have made the playoffs once each. Washington went in 2015, and the Giants the following year.

Either Dallas or Philadelphia has won the NFC East five of six years.

Veteran linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said the Redskins need to get going after losses to the Eagles, Cowboys and Bears.

“We’ve still got 13 games left to play,” Kerrigan said. “You didn’t sign up to play three. You signed up to play 16. Anything can happen over these next 13, 14 weeks and we’ve got to make it happen in our favor.”

The Giants were not very competitive against either Dallas or Buffalo, and they needed their biggest rally since 1970 to win last Sunday.

“It really just makes us hungrier,” tight end Evan Engram said of the victory. “Like I said, that feeling is really addicting, and it adds motivation to us, so I think it makes us hungrier. We’ve been in positions where - last year we won Game 3 after going 0-2, so … it’s important not to put too much into that. It’s a new week, a new opponent, and it’s just going to make us hungrier and motivate us more to go out there and do everything we can to repeat that.”

Five things to watch in this 175th meetings between the longtime rivals:

COLLINS RETURNS

Redskins teammates don’t expect safety Landon Collins to play differently in his first game against his former teammates, and neither do the Giants.

“I think the reason why we like Landon is because he plays highly motivated every Sunday,” Gruden said. “We expect Landon to play hard like he does every game and if he has some added incentive, then great.”

Collins spent four seasons with New York and was an All-Pro in 2016.

“That’s my brother, we also share the same agency, so I have known the guy for a while,” Giants receiver Sterling Shepard said. “I played against him in college. Like I said, that’s my brother at the end of the day. When we step on the field, he knows what time it is.”

AND REPLACING SAQUON …

Third-year running back Wayne Gallman will start with 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley sidelined indefinitely with an ankle sprain. Gallman had five carries for 13 yards against the Bucs and did not catch a pass.

Eli Penny is the only other running back on the roster. Shurmur may go for the quick fix and sign Jon Hilliman, formerly of Rutgers, off the practice squad for depth.

O-LINE WOES

As if the Redskins‘ running game hasn’t been bad enough, they could be missing up to two starting offensive linemen.

The status of center Chase Roullier (knee) and right guard Brandon Scherff (ankle) are iffy. Veteran Tony Bergstrom is the top backup. Rookies Ross Pierschbacher or Wes Martin are next on the depth chart.

JUST THROW IT

The good news for the Redskins is the Giants‘ secondary has been dreadful, ranked last in the league, and it was embarrassing last weekend. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins was toasted by Mike Evans, who caught three touchdowns. Safeties Antoine Bethea and Jabrill Peppers have not covered well. Rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker is struggling adjusting to the NFL.

NEW LOOK

First the first time since late in the 2004 season, the Redskins will be facing the Giants in a game when Manning does not start. It certainly was a look that caught the Bucs off guard because Jones offered the added option of running.

“He plays the game,” Redskins cornerback Josh Norman said of Jones. “Eli was in the pocket. He’s a pocket quarterback. Daniel Jones, he’s same thing but he has mobility. Eli is not too much running. He used to back in the day, but now he’s in the pocket and Jones can do a little bit more than just be in the pocket.”

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AP Sports Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.

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