When the New York Giants began the season 0-2 the hope was that they could rally and make the Week 17 game at MetLife Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles meaningful, perhaps a winner-take-all showdown for the NFC East title. That, of course, did not happen. There is still a game to play, however, and oddsmakers have installed the home-standing Giants as 3-point favorites.
No matter what happens, the 6-9 Giants will finish with a losing record for the third straight season. Is there any reason for the Giants and their fans to care about the outcome of Sunday's 1 p.m. ET game? Well, sure.
First is the idea that if Sunday is the last game of Tom Coughlin's coaching career it certainly would be nice to send him into retirement with an effort he can be proud of. Second is the reality that the outcome will determine the final two slots on the Giants' 2016 schedule.
A win Sunday and they finish second in the NFC East. A loss, they are third. Fourteen of the 16 opponents for next season are determined. Second place means a home game against the Atlanta Falcons and a road game vs. the Seattle Seahawks to round out the schedule. Third place means a home game against either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or New Orleans Saints, and a trip across the pond to play the St. Louis Rams in London.
The Giants will have star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday. Beckham is back on the active roster after serving his one-game suspension.
In this same season-ending circumstance a year ago the Giants lost to the Eagles, 34-26. Can they do better this time? Do you even care?