EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants have a two-game cushion in the NFC East heading into Monday night's clash with the second-place Redskins.
But defensive end Osi Umenyiora spoke Friday about a sense of urgency regarding this game, despite the disparity in the standings.
"Not to look ahead, but the teams we have coming up here are all good football teams," Umenyiora said. "So we're not gonna take any of them for granted and feel like, 'OK, if we lose this game, we still have an opportunity to win our division.' Because if we lose this game, we might not win our division, with the teams we have coming up ahead.
"Every game is a very, very important game for us. We have a very tough five games here, and we have to take every one of them like it's a championship fight."
That's music to many Giants fans' ears. Big Blue doesn’t always bring its “A” game when it doesn’t need to.
And Umenyiora’s right – the rest of the schedule is no cakewalk, with games against the Saints, Falcons and Ravens ahead, before the regular season finale against the Eagles.
The defensive end also raved about Washington rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, calling him “a phenomenal football player.” But he isn’t looking forward to facing the Redskins’ offense, which features a college-style option attack at times.
“It’s a frustrating offense in general, the things that they do. I’m a grown man, I don’t really want to be playing against that kind of offense at this stage of my career,” Umenyiora said. “But that’s what’s been presented in front of us, and we have to do that.”
The Giants are coming off one of their best performances of the season, a 38-10 thrashing of the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium last Sunday. But Umenyiora isn’t satisfied.
“We could have played better, for sure, in a lot of areas,” Umenyiora said. “But I think we came out and we established ourselves and played well in all phases of the team, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams. We played like a team and I think that was the most important thing.”
We’ll see if they can do it again Monday night. And maybe even play better.