The New York Football Giants are in the playoffs for the first time in 6 years.
Along with that, they are locked into the 6 seed, meaning the result of this game against the Eagles does nothing regarding their playoff positioning. Make no mistake about it though, this game is not meaningless for the rest of the season. Reports are that the Giants will be resting key players, and if you’re asking this fan, that is a massive mistake.
It has been said all year that the Giants have overachieved this season. No one expected them to be in the spot they are in. I’m sure there are even some fans out there that are satisfied with the Giants being in the playoffs. If the Giants lose they’ll probably say, “Well, we weren’t supposed to be here anyway, we’ll be back next year!” Anyone who watches the NFL should know that absolutely nothing is guaranteed. I thought the Giants were gonna be a perennial playoff team for years to come following their 2016 playoff berth. Fast forward 6 years, 2 GM’s, and 4 Head Coaches later and here we are! That is why the Giants should be doing everything they can to win the Super Bowl right now, and resting their key players is not the way to do that.
I would think there is a large portion of the Giants fan base that agrees with me that they should be doing everything they can to win the Super Bowl. But that same portion would disagree with playing many of the starters. They think keeping this team as healthy as possible would give the Giants the best chance to compete with the NFL’s best. They are not wrong in that sentiment, but there is another aspect that people are neglecting. That is momentum and confidence. Two weeks ago, the Giants were a couple of plays away from knocking off the Minnesota Vikings. Last week, the Giants blew the doors off the Colts to clinch a playoff spot in front of their home crowd. This team’s confidence is at an all time high and we have all the momentum in the world. If we lay down and concede to the Eagles, and likely get blown out, that would be a massive blow to everything the Giants have going for them. Yes, by the way, sitting players who aren’t hurt would be conceding to a division rival who you haven’t beat on the road in 9 years. I’m not saying play guys who are hurt, if they are a game time decision and iffy if they even can play, sit them.
But if they are healthy: Play to Win the Game.
Giants fans should know better than anyone what getting hot at the right time means. We saw it in both 2007 and 2011, and those teams rode that wave all the way to a Super Bowl title. People have brought up the ’07 game against New England all week, but 2011 is even more relevant. That team was not that talented. They got hot though, winning 3 of their last 4 and never looked back. If the Giants knock off the Eagles in Philly or even give them a game, that would increase the momentum they already have. Yes, playing key guys this week risks injuries to a team that doesn’t have all that much depth. There is also a risk that if you sit guys, you get steamrolled by a division rival and kill all the confidence the Giants have.
The Giants are hot right now, and they should be doing everything they can to stay hot.
(Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)