Giants' defensive end, Osi Umenyiora, once again finds himself in a war of words with an opposing running back. Unfortunately for the Browns’ Trent Richardson, he will not pick up 140 yards, as did fellow Osi-challenger, LeSean McCoy.
Richardson told ESPN earlier in the week, "I think that if we cover the edges and run hard, not doing all this juking and that, one move and go, I think we can have success in the running game.”
In response, Osi said of the rookie halfback, "If (Trent) looks on tape and he thinks he sees some candy, come try and get it."
Mathias Kiwanuka couldn’t resist joining the fun either, telling the Newark Star-Ledge (as reported by ESPN in earlier link), "If he proves it, I'll shake his hand and tap him on the butt. If he doesn't, I expect never to hear from him again.”
Unlike McCoy, who directly challenged Umenyiora, Richardson really didn’t say anything too offensive (no pun intended). As a rookie, however, opposing teams are going to use anything Richardson says as an excuse to get angry and remind him that he’s not in Alabama anymore.
Richardson has been pretty good thus far. He has recorded 344 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in as many games.
New York has the No. 22 rush defense this year, allowing an average of 118 yards per game. Cleveland’s four opponents in 2012 have allowed an average of 113 yards rushing, so, on that basis, the game with the G-Men seems right in line with what they have faced thus far.
They may be average in the yardage department, but the G-Men are an active unit capable of ruining the afternoon of a running back and his millions of fantasy owners. New York’s defense ranked 19th against the run 2011, but forced 10 fumbles. Only St. Louis (?) had more.
Richardson has been careful so far with the ball. He has not fumbled in his professional career.
You also cannot overlook the hellish day Brandon Weeden will experience. The Giants pass rush has ruined many a quarterback’s outings and this is especially the case for inexperienced ones.
Cam Newton tossed three picks in Week 3 of this year. The Giants forced Sam Bradford out of the pocket or pressured his throws on 14 of his 49 drop backs against them in 2011 (he was 0-for under these circumstances).
Quarterback harassment has come with serious backlash for the running backs. The St. Louis and Carolina running games combined for 119 yards.
Richardson’s best game came in Week 2 when he rushed for 109 yards. On the day, Weeden threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns. He had no interceptions and was sacked twice for a loss of 13 yards.
Compare that with Weeks 1 and 3 . The 28-year-old rookie averaged 177.5 yards to go along with six interceptions and six sacks for 37 yards. Richardson gained only 66 yards on the ground over the two games.
There’s a lot to like about Trent Richardson, but Week 5 figures to be a miserable experience for most of the Cleveland offense. Their fans should probably be used to it by now.