This Sunday, a resurgent Redskins team led by rookie-sensation Robert Griffin III takes on the Giants, who are fresh off a statement victory over the 49ers, with the NFC East lead on the line. The Giants defense is feeling confident, and rightfully so, after they sacked Alex Smith six times and tallied three interceptions last week. The G-Men are certainly letting it be known that they plan on stopping Griffin and are throwing shots at the Skins rookie with Jason Pierre-Paul already warning RGIII not to, ‘Bring it to my side‘.
RGIII has been handling the trash talk quite admirably. He knows that he still has a lot to prove in this league and hasn’t earned the right to speak his mind openly, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the No. 2 pick has had this game circled on his calendar since Draft night and is ready to ball. Nothing will solidify his spot as one of the top signal callers in the NFL like showing out and embarrassing the Giants vaunted front seven.
As of late, the Redskins have the Giants’ number, beating them in both of their matchups last season—including nearly derailing New York’s epic Super Bowl run with a late-season victory over the Giants. Both teams have a lot on the line heading into Sunday, but make no mistake, this is not the first time the Giants and Redskins have faced each other in a big time matchup.
The Giants and Redskins have one of the longest running rivalries in the NFL, having played each other every year since 1932. The rivalry reached its pinnacle during the ’80s, when both teams were perennial playoff teams and even squared off in the classic 1986 NFC Championship game with the Giants winning 17-0 en route to a Super Bowl victory.
While the rivalry has been swept under the rug a bit with the Redskins reeling over the last half decade, the play of Griffin III has put the Redskins back on the Giants’ radar and it looks like this will be the first of many very important slugfests over the next decade.
In anticipation of Sunday, here are some of the more recent top moments from the historic rivalry:
Lawrence Taylor breaks Joe Theismann’s leg on Monday Night Football, 1985
Probably the most gruesome injury broadcasted in front of a national television audience. Taylor literally broke Theismann’s leg in half and the haunting image of LT calling for help as soon as the play was over will forever be burned in every football fan’s memory.
Gus Frerotte concusses himself, 1997
After leading the Redskins down the field for a touchdown drive early during the Giants-Redskins Monday night matchup, Gus Frerotte got a little too excited and decided–unbeknownst to anyone but him–to headbutt the padded wall by the end zone after scoring. The result: a concussion that kept him sidelined for the remainder of the game, a 7-7 tie, and a lifetime spot on all “Bottom 10″ lists.
Ryan Kerrigan’s Pick Six, 2011
With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 as the backdrop, emotions were running high in D.C. and when then rookie picked off Eli Manning’s pass and returned it for a touchdown, the fans at FedEx Field blew the roof off making for an unforgettable moment.
NFC Championship Game, 1986
As stated earlier, the Giants and Redskins met in a slugfest of a NFC East Championship game in ’86. Here is the intro to that game featuring the always awesome duo of Pat Summerall and John Madden. On a brisk winter day at the Meadowlands, the Giants went on to win 17-0. Two weeks later, they would be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after beating the Broncos 39-20.