How is Washington's prep changing for a Giants team they just played originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
When 1 p.m. rolls around on Sunday afternoon, the Washington Football Team and New York Giants will kick-off for their second battle with one another in the past 21 days. As NFC East foes, the two teams are used to facing one another twice per year, but rarely with so little time in between.
Washington fell to Big Blue in the team's Week 6 clash, as the Burgundy and Gold failed to convert a two-point conversion with under a minute remaining when trailing by one. The Giants would escape with a one-point victory for their first win of the season.
Asked if his approach would change facing New York for the second time this season, Washington head coach Ron Rivera doesn't think it's much different this week than it was for the first matchup.
“I wouldn’t say the approach is necessarily different. Again, it’s a divisional game so I think those things take care of themselves," Rivera said. "People say: ‘Oh, you’ve got to gear up. You’ve got to get fired up.’ No, you don’t. This is the division. This is one of our rivals, one of our archrivals. So, I think our guys, their perspective and outlook on this game is in the right place."
Although it's only Week 9, Washington's players know what's at stake come this weekend.
Sunday's contest is a vital game for Washington as they look to stay alive in the NFC East race. A victory Sunday would put Washington just a half-game back of the Eagles for first place. A loss would put them at 2-6. Although they'd still be alive for the division, the conversation surrounding the team might start to gear more towards the draft than any playoff push.
With just three weeks in between the two matchups, it would have been difficult for either side to have implemented an entirely new gameplan. Sure, Washington has a slight advantage coming off their bye week, but there are only so many new concepts they can install every week.
"Coaching-wise, schematic-wise, we have some ideas of things we want to do," Rivera said. "Are they similar to what we did last time? Some of them are. Are they different? Yeah, some of them are.
"For the most part, a lot of teams in your division are going to attack you the same way, especially if they have success," Rivera continued. "That’s the thing that they’ve got to look at. Look at the things they did, look at the success they had and then you can anticipate them coming back with it."
Washington rookie Chase Young is still just getting his feet wet in the NFC East. Yet, for him, the mindset of playing a team twice in a span of weeks is simple.
"I think when you play a team twice, it comes down to who watched film more and who was more technical," Young said.
For running back Antonio Gibson, playing a team a second time is less about game-planning and fundamentals. To him, the winner will be whichever team shows more heart.
Last year when Gibson was at Memphis, the Tigers played Cincinnati in consecutive weeks -- the first being the regular-season finale, the second being the American Athletic Conference championship. Memphis would win each game, with both coming on fourth-quarter comebacks.
"You just had an idea of what they were doing, or what we were going to see," Gibson said. "I feel like it came down to who wanted it more."
Gibson believes that same, 'who wants it more' mindset can be applied this week to Washington's matchup against the Giants.
"Just kind of already knowing what we might get. You know, they could switch it up," Gibson said. "Just having an idea of the personnel they use, the players, already having a feel for them, it should help both teams out. I feel like it comes down to who wants it more, playing a team twice."
Washington enters Sunday's contest as a three-point favorite, but New York has won five of the last seven meetings between the two clubs. The Burgundy and Gold won't be deceived by New York's 1-7 record, either, as five of their seven defeats have been decided within the final minute of each game.
"Our approach I think is really where it needs to be because this is a division rival," Rivera said.