The Giants are well aware of the Redskins’ quick-strike offense, and hope to do everything they can to limit possessions for Robert Griffin and Co.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin noted during his weekly press conference that running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and rookie David Wilson will need to be more prominent in the game plan — even though Washington (5-6) has a run defense that’s ranked third in the league, allowing just 89.2 yards per game.
“They have scored 69 points in the last two weeks,” said Coughlin about Washington’s big-play potential, adding it’s time for the running game to get going, particularly Wilson. “I told him to ‘ratchet it up [and] let’s go.’ … He’s ready to go. It’s his time now. He’s got to do it.”
Wilson has no choice but to be ready to go, as he and Bradshaw will be the only two running backs guaranteed to suit up Monday. The Giants signed two running backs on Tuesday — Kregg Lumpkin and Ryan Torain — but it seems unlikely either will be ready to execute the game plan on short notice.
“I don’t know [if I’ll play],” Lumpkin said. “If I can learn this as fast as I can, then I hope so, wherever that may be.”
However the depth chart plays out on Monday night, the Giants head into the matchup at the opposite end of the spectrum. Washington has a stellar ground game, aided by Griffin’s option forays, and already has a historic rushing outfit. Rookie running back Alfred Morris (982 yards) and Griffin (642 yards) are the first rookie running back and quarterback teammates to each rush for at least 500 yards each.
Big Blue could only dream of such balance in the backfield, as Bradshaw (733 yards) and Wilson (102 yards) have been inconsistent at best. The Giants will miss Andre Brown’s 385 yards rushing and team-high eight touchdowns. Brown was placed on the designated-for-return injured reserve list after breaking his leg against the Packers last week, and will likely miss the remainder of the season — unless the Giants make a return trip to the Super Bowl.
The good news for the Giants is they’ve already been through losing a key member of their rushing attack before. During the 2007 season, Derrick Ward fractured his fibula in Week 12. Ward was placed on injured reserve, which created an opportunity for then-rookie Bradshaw as the team went on to win the Super Bowl.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.