Redskins' Cofield: Last year's wins mean nothing now

Christian Ponder of the Minnesota Vikings is sacked Christian Ponder of the Minnesota Vikings is sacked by Ryan Kerrigan and Barry Cofield, right, of the Washington Redskins at FedExField. (Oct. 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty

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ASHBURN, VA. -- Barry Cofield may have gotten a couple of laughs in over his old Giants teammates last season when Cofield's Redskins swept the season series.

Cofield's former team got the last laugh, though. So there is hardly a feeling of superiority going into Sunday for Cofield and the Redskins.

"There was a little bit of [trash talk], but I'm sure they're happy with their Super Bowl rings, so they're not too worried about those games," Cofield said prior to practice yesterday. "We're focused on this year, trying to be 2-0 against them this year, winning our division and hopefully a Super Bowl, like they did."

That's not as farfetched a concept as it once seemed around this team, which has slogged through three straight losing seasons and cycled through numerous personnel changes in search of something big.

With rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III adding some zest and confidence to the offense, and a defense that has been tough against the run, the Redskins are 3-3 and on the rise as they get ready to face their old rival Giants, who lost two stunners to the Redskins last season after winning the previous six meetings, but only went 3-11 on the rest of their schedule.

"They're the champs, so they still have the crown," said defensive end and Dix Hills native Stephen Bowen. "We have to go in there and try to prove ourselves."

That could be easier with Griffin, whose versatility and escapability could cause problems for a Giants front that can't pin its ears back and go full-blast on the pass rush.

"They've got the best front four in the league, hands down. Really front five, when they rotate the D-ends," said tackle Trent Williams. "It depends how free they are, but if Robert can get on the edge, he can make any team pay. It's easier said than done, though."

Cofield has helped anchor the eighth-best run defense in the league, even though the Redskins are last in the NFL in pass defense. Limiting Giants quarterback Eli Manning may be difficult, but Cofield knows his team is toast if it can't shut down running back Ahmad Bradshaw.

"We have to treat him just like we treated Adrian Peterson last week. It's going to take three or four guys to get him down," Cofield said. "And if we're not there at the ball, a 3-yard run could be 30 easily. He runs every snap like it's his last.

"We've got to stop the run, make them one-dimensional and if we can hit and harass Eli, we'll have a chance."

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