When the New York Giants welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to MetLife Stadium on Sunday, they have more to play for than just their own playoff hopes, no matter how dismal they may seem. As a generally pessimistic fan, I’ve already succumbed to the fact the Giants are going to be watching in January. Too much has to happen for them to get in and it’s a long shot at best.
So, why would I be watching if I already predicted their fate, you may be asking yourself. The first reason is I’m a die-hard fan and will always watch the Giants when I can. I only get 16 of these a year, and anything more than that I consider a blessing. But I’m also watching to see how the Giants respond to the beating they’ve taken over the last two weeks.
I’m talking about a little thing called pride.
These are grown professionals we’re talking about and, as talented as they are, it was flat out embarrassing to see the way they played the previous two weeks. They made the Baltimore Ravens look like the New England Patriots offensively, giving up over 500 yards total. It was a shocking wake-up call that unfortunately came too late in the season for the Giants to have any meaningful chance at using it for motivation moving forward.
The 4-11 Eagles are coming to town, but I guarantee you nothing would please the Eagles more than ruining the Giants’ playoff chances themselves and forcing the Giants to just their 3rd season of .500 or worse under Tom Coughlin.
Though the Giants are banged up on defense, if they don’t show up for this game there will be no excuses. They were presented every opportunity to make the playoffs and responded by caving into nothingness. They were so terrible last week I actually felt sorry for them.
This has the 2009 season feeling all over again, and frankly I don’t see it ending any different. If you’re a betting man, take the Eagles.