Giants should play to win game vs. Eagles despite lack of stakes

Giants should play to win game vs. Eagles despite lack of stakes

Brian Daboll set the tone Wednesday, stepping aside so a doctor, a psychologist and a chaplain could talk to his team. In the wake of the traumatic NFL event, the Giants had to talk about their physical, mental and spiritual health before thinking about the regular season finale in Philadelphia.

Should the Giants and the Eagles and the rest of the league play this weekend? It’s a legitimate question as Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital after his heart stopped beating on the field Monday night. Saquon Barkley said it’s a conversation he wants to have with teammates and family members and that “it’s going to be tough” for the Giants to be ready to fully commit by Sunday’s kickoff.

The star running back called Wednesday’s team prayer the most important part of the day for a reason. And in the end, not a single NFL player should be asked to lace them up in Week 18, 19, or 20, or 21, if he doesn’t believe he’s ready to go.

But it sure looks like they’ll be playing football in a few days, and the Giants certainly seem prepared to show up at Linc for a game that has no bearing on their postseason position. They will be the sixth seed in the NFC Tournament – win, lose or tie.

They have to play to win anyway. It’s the right thing to do on every level.

Daniel Jones runs for a touchdown during the Giants’ playoff win over the Colts. Robert Sabo

“I think that’s part of the heart and pride of Giants teams,” Julian Love said, “that toughness about, ‘No, we go out there to compete and play.'”

Love was just 9 years old in 2007 when Tom Coughlin’s Giants had no chance to rally entering their final regular-season game and still went on a 15-0 rampage with the Patriots, losing 38-35 while winning required trust. to beat the Patriots 18-0 in Super Bowl XLII.

“It’s a situation that I think is similar to what the Giants organization is,” Love said. “So we’ll see how we go about it this week. I wouldn’t mind playing at all.

“It’s a division opponent. There’s someone I don’t really like, and they got the best of us by a lot last game. … Now we have a good moment. We played the last two games quite well. We just want to dominate an opponent we can see in the playoffs. … Right now, everybody in the locker room is full steam ahead this week until we’re told otherwise.”

As the Bills coach last year and as the head of a Giants team with many ties to Buffalo, Daboll was emotional as he arrived at Wednesday’s news conference wearing a Giants hat emblazoned with Hamlin’s No. 3. The scary and tragic injury, Daboll said, “weighs heavily on everyone’s hearts and minds,” so declaring his approach to the 13-3 Eagles was rightfully low on his priority list.

Asked if he saw value in gaining momentum like the 2007 Giants did, as opposed to resting and protecting key players, Daboll said, “What happened in ’07, or five years [ago] — We will do what we think is right for our team.” He may be ready to reveal his plan on Friday.

Let it be so. But this really shouldn’t be a very difficult call. The Giants were blown out by Philly last month, and have an opportunity here to prove they can play with the current No. 1 should they meet again later in the playoffs. As Daboll said after Sunday’s rout of the Colts, “Our goal — it’s never going to be just to make the playoffs.”

He wants his Super Bowl ring to go with the five he helped Bill Belichick win in New England. That will probably take a few years, but then again, you never know in the NFL. Crazier things have happened in sports than these giants going on a spirited postseason run.

“I’m getting ready to play and that’s my job,” said Daniel Jones, who added that he’ll do whatever his coach tells him to do. Jones said he never had a conversation with Eli Manning about the 2007 team’s way of doing business.

Giants coach Brian DabollRobert Sabo

The 2022 Giants need a boost early in 2023, and they should follow the lead of the Elite’s first title team. After that loss to undefeated New England, Patriots center Dan Koppen told his counterpart, Shaun O’Hara, that the Giants were the best team they would face and an opponent they didn’t care to see in the Super Bowl.

“We got all the momentum in the world in that game,” Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie said. A Giants team official said the losing players left the field believing they had physically imposed their will on the Patriots.

“We knew if we played them again we would beat them,” the official said.

Fifteen years after a Super Bowl triumph that ranks as the Giants’ greatest moment of all time, so much has changed about the NFL … with a few notable exceptions:

1) The sport is still extremely dangerous.

2) Winners feed winners.

If the league goes ahead with its scheduled game in Philly, the Giants should try to score more points than the Eagles do.

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