The best thing about the New York Giants’ 18-10 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday? It brought an end to a miserable 3-13 season that went wrong a long, long time ago.
Here are a few of the things we learned about the Giants on the final Sunday of the 2017 NFL regular season.
The Giants will draft ...
... No. 2. They won Sunday, and the Indianapolis Colts won Sunday. That locks the Giants into the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. (Full story)
Backups are gonna backup
The Giants were without Evan Engram (ribs) and Sterling Shepard (neck). The coaching staff chose not to play Roger Lewis Jr. Oh, and of course Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris have been out since Week 5. The Giants lined up with Travis Rudolph (seven catches), Hunter Sharp (two catches) and Marquis Bundy (first NFL game) at wide receiver. Giants’ receivers ended up dropping an unofficial total of eight passes — three by Sharp, two by Jerell Adams (one that would have been a touchdown) and one each by Bundy, Wayne Gallman and Orleans Darkwa. Keep that in mind when you’re looking at the 10-for-28 stat line Eli Manning put togther.
Rookie right tackle Adam Bisnowaty also had a rough NFL indoctrination. Just added to the roster Saturday when Bobby Hart was waived, Bisnowaty gave up two sacks and committed two holding penalties trying to block Washington’s outstanding pass rusher, Ryan Kerrigan.
Free agents make great final impression
We will get into a full accounting of free agents , including who to keep and who to let go, at a later time. Several Giants headed to free agency, though, had terrific showings on Sunday.
Darkwa (20 carries, 154 yards, a 75-yard touchdown run), cornerback Ross Cockrell (his third interception in two weeks, four passes defensed), linebacker Devon Kennard (one sack, a quarterback hit and a pass defensed) and linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (six tackles, two interceptions, two passes defensed) had outstanding games.
All can be unrestricted free agents.
About Ereck Flowers’ deactivation
Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the game that deactivating Flowers was injury-related. There had been speculation that, like the waived Bobby Hart, Flowers had not wanted to play Sunday.
“Ereck Flowers was deactivated because of an injury, OK? I know some other things were said out there, but he’s been fighting a groin all year long and just couldn’t do it this week,” Spagnuolo said.
Davis Webb got to wear his uniform
He did not, though, get to do anything else. The rookie quarterback was active for the first time this season on Sunday. He watched Manning play the entire game, however. Just like he has watched Manning — or for one game Geno Smith — play the other 15 games.
The changes have only just begun
The Giants hired a new general manager in Dave Gettleman, and that GM has already started leaving his imprint on the team. The 2018 Giants will look far, far different than the team we saw on the field in 2017. Better? Who knows. Different? No doubt.