Past and present collided after the New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Giants safety Jabrill Peppers and Redskins safety Landon Collins had to be separated after the Giants’ 24-3 victory. Collins was a 2015 second-round draft pick and spent four seasons with the team. Peppers is in his first season with the Giants, having been acquired in the trade that sent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.
After the game was over, Collins directed a few choice words at the Giants bench before a skirmish broke out. Peppers and Collins were soon in the middle of a crowd but no punches were thrown. Other players were present in an attempt to keep the situation from escalating physically. This doesn’t mean the two just walked away in silence.
As Peppers was being led away, he commented about how Collins was angry. He then yelled out, “We’re gonna see y’all again! And I want all of that!”
Collins signed a six-year, $84 million contract with Washington in the offseason. He has a palpable dislike of Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, who he feels wasn’t honest with him about his status with the team. Collins said he’s “got a lot of animosity toward (the Giants)” but “when that week (when Washington plays the Giants) comes, all that aggression is going to come back”.
Peppers and Collins have drawn comparisons because they both play the strong safety position. In addition, Peppers was assigned No. 21: the same number Collins wore in his four seasons with the Giants.
Collins didn’t want to comment on his confrontation with Peppers at first. It didn’t take long for him to change his mind.
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“He just started yapping,” Collins said in an interview with New York Newsday. “If I had a good game, I’m not going to sit there and trash talk the opponent, especially a guy that’s been doing it way longer and better than you. He made his first play today in four weeks? I mean, I made plenty of plays in that jersey and I’m still making plays. He just started talking. You know I’m not that kind of person to get that way (getting into an altercation physical or verbal), you’ve got to start talking to me.”
When asked about the skirmish, Peppers said, “That’s all love. I respect what he did in his career. It’s just football. There’s nothing to it.”
Collins led the Giants in tackles in each of his four seasons with the team. In 2016, he became the first (and currently only) player in NFL history to finish a season with at least 100 solo tackles, two sacks, five interceptions, and 12 passes defended.
Collins had nine combined tackles (two solo) and 0.5 sacks against the Giants. Peppers had a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown Sunday, the first pick-6 of his career. He also had six combined tackles (three solo), two passes defended.
Peppers felt he had to make a statement against Washington, especially with his predecessor on the other side.
“I definitely felt like this was a great game for me to come out here, maybe change the narrative a little bit,” Peppers said.
Peppers will have another chance to prove his mettle against Collins. The Giants will face Washington in Week 16 (Dec. 22) at FedEx Field.
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