Week 17 Preview: Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
The New York Giants have clinched the fifth seed in the NFC, while the Washington Redskins will almost certainly clinch a playoff berth with a win. I provide my key games to the final regular season game below in my Week 17 Preview.
Play the Starters?
The obvious risk in playing the starters in a meaningless game is a catastrophic injury. Oakland and Tennessee each lost their starting quarterbacks to broken legs, so the Giants should be wary, as Maxwell Ogden points out.
Yet, as Eli Manning told the The New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, “My take is to play” and “try to find a good rhythm offensively.” Even with an active streak of 198 consecutive games, ironman Manning said, “That won’t play a factor.”
Defensive captain Jonathan Casillas also told Schwartz that “90 percent of the guys” are injured, but he too wants to play.
The case can be made for resting key contributors, but I would only play the starters for a half. It allows the offense to work on finding the rhythm that Manning mentioned, while also limiting the chances of a significant injury.
Doing so would provide opportunities for younger players, such as Jay Bromley, Roger Lewis Jr., and B.J. Goodson, to get on the field.
DeSean Jackson vs. Giants’ Secondary
As he enters what could be his last game in Washington, wide receiver DeSean Jackson has one more opportunity to stick it to his long-time rival Giants. Even at 30 years old, Jackson is a potential game breaker. Back in Week 3, Jackson torched the Giants’ secondary for 96 yards and a touchdown.
It remains unclear how the Giants plan to cover Jackson, with Janoris Jenkins still banged up. If I were Steve Spagnuolo, I would throw rookie Eli Apple into the fire and see how he handles himself one-on-one on the outside.
Odell vs. Norman Part 3?
In a “meaningless” game for the Giants, it would be absurd for Odell Beckham Jr. to jaw with Josh Norman again. Beckham told Jordan Raanan of ESPN that he has no, “Ill feelings,” toward Norman.
Although Norman has frustrated the mercurial young receiver in the past, Beckham must keep his emotions in check. Beckham was suspended one game after the 2015 melee, and the team cannot afford a similar outcome on Sunday.
Running back Rashad Jennings told The New York Post’s Mark Cannizzaro, “No one in the locker room is concerned with getting injured.” Even so, Ben McAdoo might play it safe this weekend, so I’m going with Washington on Sunday.
Redskins 26, Giants 15
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