- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

London Fletcher knows the hang-up his team has with the New York Giants.

The veteran linebacker has started more games for the Washington Redskins than any player on the roster and has suffered through more losses to their NFC East rivals than he cares to remember.

The 23-17 defeat Sunday in the season opener marked the Redskins’ sixth loss to the Giants in their last seven meetings.

“They’ve had the upper hand on us,” Fletcher said. “We have to change our mindset against them where they punch us and we’re kind of on our heels as opposed to taking the punch and delivering some counterpunches.

“It’s not going to be easy against them. They’re a good football team, but so are we. Until we realize that and [have] that confidence that we can beat them, it’s going to continue to be the same. That has to change.”

That’s especially true for quarterback Jason Campbell, who has yet to play in a victory over the Giants.

Campbell was hurt and didn’t play in the Redskins’ win at Giants Stadium in 2007. And Campbell was holding the clipboard on the sideline as the No. 3 quarterback when Washington beat New York at home late in 2005, his rookie season.

“I wouldn’t single Jason out,” second-year coach Jim Zorn said. “I haven’t won [against the Giants] yet, either. It’s important for our football team to beat this New York team.”

Zorn and Campbell beat the Cowboys in Dallas and the Eagles in Philadelphia last season but have come up frustratingly short against New York.

“We want to beat the Giants for everybody’s sake,” center Casey Rabach said. “It would do a lot for the entire psyche of the team to pull out a win like that. It’s really hard to say why we have that block, why they have that streak of wins against us. They’re a good football team, no doubt, but a team that we can beat. I do believe that.”

Backup quarterback Todd Collins, a Massachusetts native, recalled how the New England Patriots lost 18 straight to the Dolphins in Miami until they won the AFC championship there in the 1985.

“I don’t know if it’s reached that level here yet,” Collins said. “I don’t think it’s in Jason’s head or in this team’s head. We did beat them in 2007 and have had some really close games with them. And after today we’re not going to be thinking about the Giants until we play them again.”

Lack of discipline

Zorn didn’t condone the scuffle that receiver Santana Moss got into with Giants cornerback Corey Webster or the late hit safety LaRon Landry put on running back Brandon Jacobs.

But he said he understood the reactions of his players in those situations.

“You don’t want to have those penalties and do those things that get you into trouble,” cornerback Carlos Rogers said. “… But at the same time, you want to help your team, and you don’t want to show a team you’re a punk and going to lay down.”

Extra points

Fletcher made 18 tackles in the loss to the Giants on Sunday, the highest total of his three seasons with the Redskins.

“There was a lot of tackles to be made out there for him, [but] to finish with 18, something ain’t right,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “Hats off to him, but we can’t have him making 18 tackles a game or we in trouble.”

Fletcher termed his 18 tackles “a bittersweet type of deal” and noted that his teams have won when he has been forced to make a lot of stops. …

Zorn said the Redskins suffered no injuries of consequence Sunday. Left tackle Chris Samuels took a blow to the head, and rookie linebacker Brian Orakpo hurt an elbow.

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