The New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game will be held at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. That tells you much of what you need to know about the game. While Week 17 games across the league will impact the 2018 playoff picture, this one will have nothing to do with it.
The 9-6 Dallas Cowboys have already won the NFC East championship. The 5-10 Giants were eliminated from playoff contention prior to Week 16.
That, however, doesn’t mean there won’t be interesting things about Sunday’s game.
The Giants are actually favored
Facing the division winners, you would think the last-place Giants would be a healthy underdog despite being the home team. Not the case. The Giants are 7-point favorites on Sunday. That could be an awful lot of respect for the Giants. It could be a slap in the face to the Cowboys. Or, it could be an acknowledgement that the Cowboys have bigger fish to fry than the Giants and might not bring their full artillery in a Week 17 contest that is just a speed bump on their road to the playoffs.
‘A’ lineups or a replacement game?
Giants coach Pat Shurmur made it clear on Monday that Eli Manning would start at quarterback and was non-committal about the status of rookie Kyle Lauletta, saying “we’ll just have to see what the week brings.”
Shurmur also said Monday that “just like every game, anybody that’s injured is doing everything in their power to get back and play this week.”
For the Giants, that list includes wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (quad), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) and defensive lineman Mario Edwards (calf).
For Dallas, starters are expected to play. They may not, however, get a full workload per coach Jason Garrett:
“It’s a challenge you have when you make it into the playoffs prior to the last game,” Garrett said. “From the outside, people will say there’s nothing to gain from this game. But, to us, it’s just about going to work this week and practicing the right way and going to play the right way.”
By the numbers
.968 — After converting his 30th and 31st field goals of the season, Giants Pro Bowl kicker Aldrick Rosas increased his field goal percentage to .968. Rosas has converted 18 consecutive attempts, the longest streak by a Giants kicker since Josh Brown made 29 straight spanning the 2014-2015 seasons.
91 — Saquon Barkley (87) needs five catches to break Odell Beckham, Jr.’s Giants rookie record of 91, set in 2014.
89 — Barkley (87) needs two receptions to break Reggie Bush’s NFL record for a rookie running back (88 in 2006).
5.5 — B.J. Hill needs a half-sack to break the Giants’ rookie record (5.0), held by Andy Headen in 1983 and Cornelius Griffin in 2000. Lawrence Taylor had 9.5 his rookie season in 1981, one year before sacks became an official stat.
4,000 — Eli Manning (3,998) needs 2 passing yards to reach 4,000 passing yards for the 7th time in his career.
387 — Manning (356) needs 32 completions to break his own record (387 in 2015) for most completions in a season in Giants history
66 — Sterling Shepard (65) needs four receptions to set a career high of 66.
18 — The number of consecutive field goals made by Aldrick Rosas.
The Saquon Barkley section
- Needs 114 scrimmage yards (1,886) to become the third rookie in NFL history to record 2,000 in a season (Eric Dickerson - 2,212, L.A. Rams, 1983 - 1,808 rushing, 404 receiving & Edgerrin James - 2,139, Indianapolis Colts, 1999 - 1,553 rushing, 586 receiving).
- Needs one rushing touchdown (10) to surpass Bill Paschal (10 - 1943) for most rushing touchdowns by a rookie in franchise history.
- Needs 2 rushing yards (1,198) to become the fourth Giants player in franchise history to rush for at least 1,200 yards in a season. In Week 14, Barkley became the first Giants rookie in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards. Barkley also became the first running back since Ahmad Bradshaw (2012 - 1,015 yards) to rush for 1,000 yards.