The New York Giants achieved one goal this season with Coach Ben McAdoo telling them “be ascending going into the playoffs.” Aside from motivating the Giants, McAdoo is in a dilemma whether to play his starters or not.
The Giants’ standing in the playoffs will not change whether they win or lose to the Washington Redskins. But according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, the Giants starters are still keen on playing this Sunday.
Starting left guard Justin Pugh revealed that the team went to their practice Tuesday without any mention of the playoffs. Pugh added they are all business this week with the focus of playing against the Redskins.
“I feel like [Tuesday] was business as usual,” Pugh said. “We didn’t talk about the playoffs until coach called us up at the end of practice. So we were in there just not talking about it, and we were all Washington.”
Why rest the starters?
After losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, the Giants still managed to barge their way into the playoffs. Many of the players want a well-deserved rest to heal up in preparation for the playoffs. But quarterback Eli Manning together with Pugh and running back Rashad Jenning assures everyone that they will play this week.
The Giants’ offense is struggling for the past weeks and getting them to play against the Redskins might improve them. Manning and his crew need to work on their snaps, especially running the ball down to the end zone.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz noted that the team needs to come together if they want to survive the postseason. Prior to their loss to the Eagles, the Giants considered as “giant slayers” defeated the Cowboys and then the Lions. Cruz stresses they need to bring those games for rival teams to take them seriously.
Do they understand the risks?
Going into their match against the Redskins, if the Giants play their starters, they risk them getting injured. If that happens, then the Giants could say goodbye to their playoff hopes this season.
Losing to the Eagles brought the Giants back to reality to fine-tune both their offense and defense. McAdoo needs to remind his players to stay sharp and work as a team as they have not been dominating. The Giants will not try to end the Redskins’ hope of a playoff spot. They just need to bounce back as the contender-like squad which the Giants were known for.
McAdoo has goals for the team and being lousy in the postseason is not one of them. The Giants need to improve and the only way to improve is to play them against the Redskins. It is a risk, but knowing the Giants, it is a risk they are willing to take.
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