- The Washington Times - Monday, October 22, 2018

After Sunday’s win over Dallas, next up on the schedule for the Washington Redskins is a trip to play the New York Giants.

The Giants are 1-5 but have talent on the offensive side, including Odell Beckham Jr., Evan Engram and second overall draft pick Saquon Barkley.

Asked Sunday if he is looking forward to seeing Barkley for the first time, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson corrected the reporter and said it would not be his first look at the rookie.

“I’ve had the opportunity to sit back and watch him. He’s nice, man,” Peterson said Sunday. “He’s a heck of a football player. So he’s impressed me so far.”

Peterson said he’s seen some of Barkley’s early-career highlights, which have included a 68-yard touchdown run Week 1 in his NFL debut, 14 receptions in one game in Week 2 and a 130-yard performance last week against the Eagles.

“Our defense, they’ll have a tough challenge and they will be equipped to stop him,” Peterson said. “They did a great job to stop [the Cowboys], Ezekiel [Elliott], great offensive line, they did a great job controlling the front. They’ll just have to do the same thing next week.”

The Redskins held Elliott, one of the best backs in the league, to 15 carries for 33 yards Sunday.

Peterson, meanwhile, ran for 99 yards on 24 carries. Pushing in for a one-yard touchdown in the third quarter would have gotten him to the century mark, but he was tackled for a two-yard loss and tried flipping a lateral to quarterback Alex Smith to extend the play.

Smith caught the ball, but was caught off guard and tackled. The lateral did not count in the stat book because Peterson was ruled down, and the play dead, before he pitched the ball back.

“Yeah, he was great, except for his lateral on the 1-yard line,” coach Jay Gruden joked after the game. “Didn’t yell at him for that yet.”

Peterson explained he was “just trying to make a play.”

“I had to apologize to [Smith] because he took some hits he didn’t want, but I just wanted to give him a chance to create something,” Peterson said. “For me it was a perfect position, I was falling back, guys were below my waist, so I didn’t really put us in an awkward situation of losing the ball.”

The play was reminiscent of when Brandon Marshall forced an unexpected lateral that ended up in the defense’s hands in 2015, except that Peterson’s attempt was much safer.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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