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PAUL WOODY: Wild win, late loss put behind them


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Redskins, Giants looking forward

Wild win, late loss put behind them




When the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants meet today at FedEx Field, both teams will know that the Redskins are coming off an exhilarating victory, and the Giants are coming off a disappointing loss.

Will it make any difference?

"Last week is over," said Giants defensive end Michael Strahan. "This is professional sports. You win, you forget about it. You lose, you forget about it. The team you play the next week doesn't care whether you won or lost."

Strahan might be correct. But the Redskins certainly will remember that they made a stirring comeback to win in Atlanta last Sunday. And the Giants will have a hard time forgetting that a special-teams mistake once again cost them a game, this time an overtime affair against Dallas on Monday night.

In theory, the Redskins should have the advantage from the extra day of rest. Under Jim Fassel, though, the Giants are 5-2 in games following Monday night games. Fassel's record in that category is far better than the Giants' overall record in games following Monday night games, 20-22.

"We've played pretty well after short weeks," Fassel said. "I think we'll come out ready to go."

Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey is almost certain to come out ready to go. In two games against the Redskins last season, Shockey caught a total of 16 passes for 200 yards. One reason the Redskins signed strong safety Matt Bowen during the offseason was to deal with players such as Shockey.

"Shockey runs good routes and plays hard and likes the game," Bowen said. "When you get a guy who likes the game so much and is really talented, it makes him hard to stop because he gets into a flow and can become even better than he is.

"We're not going to shut him down. He's going to catch passes. It's what good players do. We have to limit him to average or small gains. Our guys are going to be fired up to play against him. Any time you get to play talented players like that, it gets you excited."

The Redskins have another problem in the secondary. Starting cornerback Fred Smoot suffered a concussion during Thursday's practice, and is questionable for today's game. Rashad Bauman, a second-year player with a sore hamstring, will start if Smoot is unable to play.

The Redskins have a few talented players who will present problems for the Giants.

Quarterback Patrick Ramsey has thrown for 541 yards and three touchdowns through two games this season. He brought the Redskins back from a 17-0 deficit last week, even though he suffered a sprained left shoulder at the end of the first half.

And the Giants will have to deal with wide receiver Laveranues Coles, who is the Redskins' big-play performer. Coles has caught 16 passes for 286 yards, 17.9 yards per catch. The Redskins signed him as a restricted free agent from the New York Jets.

"He's been phenomenal. I'm sure he's everything the Jets probably hoped he wouldn't be," Strahan said. "He's a determined guy. He's showing he's one of the best receivers in the league, and he's making it look easy."

Strahan often makes rushing the passer look easy. Redskins right tackle Jon Jansen, though, gives Strahan his toughest afternoons. Still, the Redskins have permitted Ramsey to be sacked 10 times through two games. And the Giants have compiled 10 sacks through two games.

"There are games you get a lot of sacks, and games you don't," Strahan said. "Just because they've given up a lot doesn't mean they're going to give up any this week."

Just because the Giants lost Monday night and are playing on the road doesn't mean they'll lose this week. The Redskins, however, hope to have something to say about that.

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