Can the New York Giants finish the season with a victory, perhaps sending head coach Tom Coughlin into retirement on a winning note? The Giants face their nemesis the Philadelphia Eagles in the season finale at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET/FOX). The Giants have lost their last three games to the Eagles.
Here are this week's predictions from your Big Blue View staff members. Be sure to make your own prediction by using the prediction widget at the end of this post.
Alex Sinclair (12-3)
If pride and legacy were something that could motivate this team, they wouldn't have been so pathetic last week and we wouldn't be speculating about Tom Coughlin's future. I wish I could pick the Giants, but I think everyone is too fatigued to pull out a big win this late in the season.
Final score: Eagles 29, Giants 21
Stephen Milewski (11-4)
The Giants have played uninspired of late, but given the rumors of Tom Coughlin's job status and seemingly inevitable ousting, I think the Giants win this one. They do have Odell Beckham Jr. returning, which will add a much-needed catalyst to the offense.
I think the X-Factor will be Jasper Brinkley, who could possibly be playing for a spot with the team next year. Brinkley has played well in his stint with Big Blue, and the Giants have a dearth of talent at the linebacker position. His veteran presence helps, and I don't know if he is a starter, but having him at least in the rotation and the locker room is beneficial for this team as long as he contributes.
The last time the Giants played the Eagles, DeMarco Murray rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown. Now that head coach Chip Kelly is fired, I expect Murray to be truly utilized in this final game. Brinkley will need to make the calls to ensure the Giants can slow him down, and I think they will do so just enough. Giants get the victory in what is likely Tom Coughlin's final game.
Final score: Giants 28, Eagles 24
Chris Pflum (9-6)
Wait, you mean to say that there's still a game to be played? I thought the season was over!
Oh well, I suppose I can do this one more time.
Trying to predict the way things will go between the Giants and Eagles is usually a painful exercise in futility. These two teams tend to throw the narratives out the window, and downright freaky things tend to occur. Add to that the firing of Chip Kelly, the Giants' own coaching questions, and the ever-present injury question, and there are a ton of variables flying around.
But I'm going to go ahead and predict a Giants win.
The Eagles could win, Pat Shurmur could actually put DeMarco Murray in the I formation and hand him the ball 25 times and pound the Giants' defense and attack the middle of the field with Zach Ertz. But with a player the stature of Jason Peters already publicly checking out, I'm going to say that the Giants win on the backs of three men. Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and Rashad Jennings. Eli will be Eli, and Eli doesn't quit. Also, I think he will rebound well with the return of Beckham and off of his bad game in Minnesota. Beckham, I think, will have a chip on his shoulder and I think he will play twice as hard after having the game taken away from him. The Eagles' defense as a whole has been trending downward, and an angry (but focused) Beckham is a nightmare for any defense.
And finally, the Giants will win so we can have plenty of comments about the Giants winning a "meaningless" (seriously, how could any game in a rivalry as heated as this one be "meaningless"? The Giants will have beaten Philly and ushered two head coaches out the door since 2012. That's meaningful.) and worsening their draft position. Sure, getting a better draft slot might ease the sting of a loss, but I can't hope for a loss to a division rival just for draft position.
Final score: Giants 35, Eagles 21
Mike Gallop (8-7)
I feel pretty confident that the Giants will take out all of their frustration of another lost season on the Eagles. The uncertainty of the coaching staff and management adds fuel to the fire, and I think the Giants give the fans something to cheer about. ODB will surely be ready to make a statement after his embarrassing last two weeks, and no one in the Philly secondary can cover him. Gmen will be victorious, and hopefully, save a job or two in the process.
Final score: Giants 28, Eagles 17
Jesse Bartolis (11-4)
[From Jesse's Week 17 picks against the spread]
Hopefully, the Giants can give Tom Coughlin a nice send off (assuming he is fired). I know OBJ will come to play.
Keane Macadaeg (9-6)
The return of Odell Beckham means the return of the offense. The Eagles porous defense should have a hard time against the Giants offense though I will admit at being stunned at that Monday night matchup early on in the season. But with all the dysfunction that is the Eagles, I highly doubt they win this game.
Their offense has underperformed in every facet of the game and an interim head coach for a day won't make things any better. The Giants defense will struggle against anyone but they will contain the chaotic Eagles organization.
Final score: Giants 35, Eagles 27
Valentine's View (9-6)
I honestly don't think the players on either team really give a hoot who wins the game. Sure, it would be nice to say I think the Giants will give a terrific effort to try and finish strong for Tom Coughlin. If they really cared about the old man and about winning they would have shown it before now.
This has all the makings of a shootout because, seriously, do you think anyone on defense is really going to sell out in a game between two 6-9 teams -- one without a coach and one who will probably be without a coach soon?
Final score: Giants 38, Eagles 35