New York Giants
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Giants deny fire sale of players under way
The last time the New York Giants met Washington at home, they managed to come away with an 18-10 win.
But that victory, which occurred on January 3, 2018 to close out a dismal 3-13 season, seems so long ago, even if the Giants struggles to be competitive they enter this week's contest 1-6 are a continuation of last year.
A lot has changed for the Giants, who enter the 2018 season series with Washington with a new head coach, several new players and missing some staples from past meetings such as defensive tackle Damon Harrison and cornerback Eli Apple, both of whom were traded away this week.
Regardless of the circumstances and the record, the Giants goal is still the same: get a win.
"We got a job to do," said quarterback Eli Manning. "I think when you go through some controversy or things happen, it's about keeping the team close and rallying around each other. If people are saying something outside, prove them wrong, and let's go out there and win a football game."
That might be easier said than done, especially given the struggles of late in the red zone. New York is currently converting on 42.9 percent of their red-zone opportunities this season, but in their last three games, they have converted on just three of eight chances.
"It's just execution," Manning said when asked how they can improve their red-zone play. "Sometimes, we had the plays a little off here and there. We'll look at it hard and try to get a great game plan. We'll see what Washington is doing, and just make sure we got good plays, and everybody knows exactly what we need to do."
Defensively, the Giants will be left to pick up the pieces following the trades of Apple and unofficial team leader Harrison.
"We just make sure we focus on Washington this week because there's still a lot of football left to play, and we have to make sure we're ready for them," said defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, who is in line to inherit most of Harrison's role with the team.
"It's not too hard because it's the nature of the business. It happens pretty much every week everywhere across the league and if you're not focused, only bad things can happen from that."
Tomlinson, who is being looked upon as a young leader, said he believes in his teammates and stressed that they're not about to back down against the NFC East leaders Sunday.
"We have great players in every position across the locker room," he said. "It's the NFL, they have to be great to play in it and we're not giving up. We're all hungry out here and just want to make sure we prepare right and get this win."
To do that, the run defense, which Harrison unquestionably led, is going to have to find a way to shut down running back Adrian Peterson.
"I've only known him from afar, but I can tell he works hard," said inside linebacker Alec Ogletree.
"For him, he has a chip on his shoulder to prove everybody wrong that said he couldn't do it anymore, and he's doing it so far for them. If you don't come to play, he will embarrass you out there. We got a tough challenge this week, and we just have to play our best."
SERIES HISTORY: 171st regular-season meeting. Giants lead series, 99-67-4. The two NFC East rivals have split their regular-season series in each of the last three years. Since 2013, the regular-season series has been split 50-50.