The Giants will play the Redskins in the season finale at Met Life Sunday, one of the least meaningful final games in the club’s history.
In fact, both teams can end campaigns of shattered promise, and they both shared some similar traits.
Both were predicted to be in the hunt for the NFC East title – the Redskins the defending division champion..yes it was them – and both were decimated by injuries during the season. The Giants have had 22 players on injured reserve this season, and the Redskins have had 20.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden’s future has mixed reports, but his name has surfaced that as a candidate for the Bengals’ open position.
Giants’ interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo likely will be jettisoned as well. He will be looking for his first win in his fourth and final game this season. By the way, Spagnuolo’s record as a head coach heading into this week’s game is 10-41.
So much for some conspicuous facts.
Is there anything to watch for in the game? The Giants are ranked 23rd offensively and 32nd defensively, while Washington falls in the category as 15th and 21st respectively.
Defensively, Landon Collins and B.J. Goodson are the latest injured Giants, and you will need a roster handy to see who is left playing.
Well, new Giants ‘GM Dave Gettleman probably will keep a close watch on Eli Manning. Gettleman noted Manning’s outstanding performance against Philadelphia recently and stated that he will talk to him about his future.
Manning can’t afford to have another performance like the one he had in Arizona last Sunday when he looked like a soon-to-be 37-year-old quarterback. He looked slowed and desynchronized.
This week, Manning will be without top targets Evan Engram will miss his first game due to a rib injury, and Sterling Shepard, who will sit out with a neck injury.
That leaves Manning with receivers Roger Lewis, Travis Rudolph, Hunter Sharp, Kalif Raymond, and Marquis Bundy as well as tight end Rhett Ellison.
It also leaves him with a running game that produced 43 yards on 20 carries.
The 2-13 Giants also will begin their finale with 228 point scored, nine points short of the franchise record of 237 points set in 1979.
Still, fans (probably half the stadium filled) will brave the teen-predicted temperatures to possibly watch Manning play his final home game.
Unlike Marc Antony in Julius Caesar, the Giants fans will come to praise Manning, but to bury him.
However, The Redskins can still salvage a .500 season (7-8) with a win. Quarterback Kirk Cousins could be playing his final game with the Skins’, not in Met Life. The Jets soon could be suitors for him.
Ironically, that scenario will help the Giants’ secure the No. 2 overall draft pick. If the Giants win and Indianapolis loses, New York will pick third.
Looking at the overall appeal, the only real attractive point of this game looks to be the final score.
Still, it likely will just be another total in a season once filled with promise that transformed into a meaningless one.