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Ten reasons to watch the final game

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Is there any reason to plan your Sunday afternoon around the final game of the New York Giants 2009 regular season against the Minnesota Vikings?

I know all of the reasons not to watch, and not to care. The Giants are out of the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, and in the grand scheme of things it is a meaningless "play it only because it is on the schedule" kind of game.

Still, there are plenty of reasons to be interested in the season finale. Here is a list of 10 of them.

  1. You have to root for Eli -- Giants quarterback Eli Manning has done everything he possibly could to try and get his offense to overcome the team's putrid defense this season. He needs just 120 yards for the first 4,000-yard passing season of his career. I hope he gets it before Tom Coughlin lets David Carr finish up.
  2. Ramses Barden -- One game won't prove or disprove anything, but I sure am hoping the Giants see fit to finally activate the 6-foot-6 rookie. And that they give him a chance to get on the field for a while.
  3. Bill Sheridan -- Probably your last chance to curse him out or throw things at the TV when he puts Justin Tuck in coverage (by the way, did you see Minnesota's Jared Allen in coverage Monday night?). Maybe you simply want to enjoy watching his Giants' coaching career come to an end.
  4. The rest of the kids -- Sunday is another chance to look at Will Beatty, and to see if Jonathan Goff can be the middle linebacker of the future (I hope he can). Also, maybe we get a truly extended look at Clint Sintim.
  5. Brett Favre -- If the Vikings choose to play him at least some on Sunday, maybe the Giants defensive line can take out some of their frustrations on the old man. Watching Favre get hit is always fun.
  6. Remember that 'honey-do' list? -- Your wife doesn't have to know that this is a completely meaningless game for the Giants and you are just watching it so you can ignore the stuff she wants you to do for one more Sunday. Oh? She reads Big Blue View, too? Oops, sorry about that.
  7. The arrow should be pointing up -- The Giants have been amazingly inconsistent this season. If recent form holds, though, they should actually play well in the season finale. In reality, what I am really curious about is whether the team plays hard or just mails it in before heading home. I keep seeing speculation questioning whether or not Coughlin ever had a good read on this team, and that might give us some indication.
  8. Steve Smith -- He needs just three catches to become the first receiver in franchise history to catch 100 passes in a season. Let's hope we see the Smith scenario at least three times. What is the Smith scenario? Throw to him, catch, fall down. Repeat over and over.
  9. Last chance to say goodbye -- Probably the final call as Giants for C.C. Brown, Kevin Dockery, Danny Clark, Rocky Bernard, Fred Robbins and a bunch of other guys. So, after Sunday you are out of opportunities to scream at them and tell them how worthless they are and how the season is all their fault.
  10. It's football, it's Sunday and it's the Giants -- Why wouldn't you be in front of your TV?

(E-mail Ed at