JERSEY CITY, NJ--Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 31, 73 days before NFL free agency starts.
Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff, noon, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, 1:00, FOX
—NFL free agency starts (3/14/18) 73
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 116
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9/18) 252
Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants
The Giants are a mess—Their starting right tackle, Bobby Doss, was cut yesterday. Starting left tackle Ereck Flowers has been benched. Both reportedly “checked out” and did not practice on Friday. They also will with without their top two pass catchers. Of course, that refers to the receivers who weren’t already on injured reserve; players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall have long since been on injured reserve. Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, who are 1-2 in receiving yards on the Giants this year, have been declared out with injuries. Even Tavarres King, the guy who caught the long pass down the sideline a year ago to set up the game-winning field goal that eliminated the Redskins, is out. That sets up this situation:
Wheeler, Jerry, Jones, Halapio and Bisnowaty will protect Eli Manning as he throws passes to Lewis, Sharp, Rudolph and Bundy on Sunday.— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) December 30, 2017
It will be hard for Eli Manning to find time to pass and, if he does, find anyone to throw to.
Farewell to Eli, or maybe not—A few weeks ago it looked like Manning was done in New York. But new Giants GM Dave Gettleman has indicated that he might want to keep Manning around next year and beyond. I’ve learned that you never can fully trust what a new GM says since he really hasn’t had a chance to assess his options. So while it might well end up being the end of the line for Eli as a Giant, it’s unlikely that the game will have that feel.
Redskins will play to win—Every healthy player will be in his usual role. If the Redskins build a significant halftime lead, the coaches may sprinkle in some younger players like Robert Davis, Fabian Moreau and, well, Jeremy Sprinkle. But Jay Gruden is not treating this as a December exhibition game, he wants to win. The feeling around the locker room this week was that winning to finish 8-8 is important to the players as well.
Keys to winning:
- The Giants’ rushing defense is 28th in the NFL and they give up 4.2 yards per carry. The last time the Redskins played the Giants was the last time Samaje Perine gained 100 yards in a game. You can put those facts together with the weather forecast, which calls for a high of 18 degrees, and figure out what the Redskins ought to do when they have the ball.
- Defensively, the Redskins can’t give them any hope. As noted, the Giants have zero weapons but that doesn’t mean the Redskins can ease up in any way. Remember last year how after Beckham left the game it was King who beat them. As long as they play solid fundamentally and communicate well, the Redskins should be able to keep the Giants out of the end zone.
Prediction: The Redskins are finishing their season with three straight bad teams (where were these teams earlier in the season when they needed them?). They had to sweat out a final possession to hang on and beat the Cardinals. They started off slowly against the Broncos before pulling away and posting a comfortable win. Things should be even easier today. Perine runs for 125, Cousins gets the three TD passes he needs to get to 30 for the first time in his career, Josh Norman gets his first interception of the year, and the Redskins win easily.
Redskins 28, Giants 6
Tandler on Twitter
It’s all happening pic.twitter.com/P4fwHYRDmg— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) December 30, 2017
I usually accompany JP and @Mitch_Tischler when the record these Checking In segments. I didn’t today because 1). It’s cold and snowing and 2). I’ve experienced plenty of NFL this year. https://t.co/NrWH1BTxTJ— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) December 30, 2017
In case you missed it
- Week 17 Redskins at Giants: Win in the end
- The Redskins' most overrated events of 2017
- JP Finlay Previews Week 17