Eli Manning, Pat Shurmur
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Giants will look to avoid setting a dubious franchise record by losing their 10th-consecutive game when they take on the (3-10) Miami Dolphins.

Jason Leach

There’s little-to-no intrigue about the (2-11) New York Giants welcoming in the (3-10) Miami Dolphins on Sunday. In fact, it’s possible MetLife Stadium will be half empty on Sunday afternoon unless the intrigue surrounding Eli Manning’s potential final home game lures fans.

Despite the fact some fans may want the Giants to lose, to improve their chances of drafting Chase Young in next year’s draft, there are several things to watch for in Sunday’s game.

How will Baker, Beal and Ballentine do without Janoris Jenkins?

With Janoris Jenkins no longer on the team, the Giants defense will rely heavily on rookie cornerbacks Deandre Baker, Corey Ballentine, and second-year corner Sam Beal.

The secondary has been the Achilles’ heel for the Giants all season long. Now, they’ll have to play without their best cornerback and, arguably, their best defensive player in Jenkins.

This means that Baker, Ballentine and Beal will share the field together on Sunday more than they had at any point of the season. They’ll have their ups and downs, as any young corners go through, but they’ll gain valuable playing experience that will help them going forward.

It will be interesting to see how the trio fares on Sunday and how well they’re able to communicate. They may have the benefit of not having to face the Dolphins leading receiver DeVante Parker, who as of Friday is listed as questionable due to a concussion.

Sunday’s game will provide everyone a true assessment of what this trio can bring to the franchise for years to come.

Will the team come out strong?

Eli Manning playing in perhaps his final home game as a Giant could help galvanize the team as they look to avoid losing their 10th-straight game, which would set a franchise record.

The return of Manning as the starter provided the team with a spark on Monday night against the Eagles, as they raced out to a 17-3 halftime lead. Playing in front of their fans, who will be more an enthused than expected for a 2-11 team, could provide additional energy to a team that what’s to avoid setting a dubious franchise record.

Can Saquon Barkley finally get on track?

One of the biggest disappointments this season is the lack of production by Saquon Barkley after he returned from the high-ankle sprain.

But if there was ever a week for Barkley and the Giants ground game to get out of their slump, it’s this week against the Dolphins.

The Miami defense is tied for 30th against the run, giving up 141. 1 yards per game. Barkley hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since Week 2 and if he and the offensive line are ever going to break out of the slump before the end of the season, this is the week.

Will Shurmur finally be bold?

Pat Shurmur’s poor clock management and conservative approach were on full display in the Giants’ 23-17 overtime loss to the Eagles. Following the loss, Shurmur seemed resigned to the fact that his fate is sealed and that he won’t be back next season.

This should give Shurmur a go-for-broke and bold attitude on Sunday. He literally has nothing to lose.

Will Shurmur finally have an innovative and aggressive mindset on Sunday or will it be much of the same that we’ve seen in his tenure as head coach with the Giants?

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