The disastrous season for the (2-13) New York Giants will finally come to an end on Sunday as they take on the (7-8) Washington Redskins.
The Giants only have pride left to play for as they try to not go 0-12 against the NFC this season, which would only add to the embarrassment of what has been 2017.
The Giants and their fans can’t wait for this miserable season to be over with. Still, there are some things to watch for on Sunday that can impact the Giants next season and for years to come.
1. Will Davis Webb be active?
Rookie Davis Webb has been inactive for every game so far. Being that the Giants were essentially eliminated from playoff contention by Halloween, having Webb inactive all year shows just how poorly the Giants have managed the backup quarterback position.
If the Giants lose on Sunday they’ll have the second-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and the opportunity to draft USC’s Sam Darnold or UCLA’s Josh Rosen if they both declare for the draft.
So the Giants might as well play Webb against the Redskins to get him some game experience. The ideal scenario would be to pull Eli Manning for Webb in the second half and let the fans give Manning the ovation he deserves since this could be his last game as a Giant.
If the Giants make Webb active we’ll see this scenario unfold. If they don’t, it will be another head-scratching decision in a season full of them.
2. How the secondary performs
Over the last three weeks, the Giants secondary has been torched, giving up 784 yards and nine touchdowns. Now they’ll be without their best player in Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins who was put on IR with a fractured forearm.
#NYGiants place safety Landon Collins on IR.
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 26, 2017
Tuesday, Collins said that cornerback Eli Apple has been a cancer to the team and needs to grow up.
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) December 26, 2017
Apple, who was active for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals but didn’t play a single snap, adds validity to Collins’ statement.
It will be interesting to see if Apple plays on Sunday, and how the rest of the secondary performs, especially safeties Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams, who will be forced to play bigger roles in Collins’ absence.
In their Week 12 matchup, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 242 yards and touchdowns. His 3,935 passing yards are seventh-most in the NFL. He’ll light up the Giants secondary if they’re not mentally prepared to play.
If the secondary has another poor performance, look for the Giants to try to move players such as Apple in the offseason.
3. How the Giants use their running backs
Paul Perkins, who began the season atop the depth chart, has had a disappointing and injury-plagued season. He’s been phased out of the offense in the second half of the season. Shane Vereen has been underutilized all season and will be an unrestricted free agent, unlikely to return.
With Vereen gone next season and the position being one the Giants will look to upgrade, it will be interesting to see how the Giants split their carries on Sunday. Will they continue to use Vereen as a third-down back? Or will they give the other backs an opportunity to show they can fill the role in 2018 and beyond?