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Play or sit? Will Giants coach Brian Daboll go all out to beat Eagles, or rest key players?

Daboll says the only thing that matters is what is best for this Giants team

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The 9-6-1 New York Giants are locked into the No. 6 seed in the playoffs regardless of whether they win or lose in Week 18 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That means coach Brian Daboll faces the classic ‘rest his players for the playoffs or go all out to win’ decision this weekend.

The No. 1 seed in the NFC and the NFC East title is on the line for the Eagles. There is also Giants lore, the memory of Tom Coughlin going all out to win in the final week of the season against the unbeaten New England Patriots in a game the Giants lost but that they credit with helping them on their Super Bowl run.

Daboll doesn’t care about any of that.

“We’ll talk about it and do what’s best for the team,” Daboll said. “Whatever we think is best for our team that’s what we’ll end up doing.”

“Joe [Schoen] and I will have some conversations. Talk to the coaches. I don’t think we need to make that decision right now. We’ll do whatever we think is best for our guys and our team.”

Daboll knows it is a “damned if you do, damned it you don’t” situation.

“What we’ve got to make decisions on is do what’s best for our team, not any other team,” he said.

“It’s only right if it works. If you do one thing and it doesn’t work, you do the other thing and something happens you’re wrong no matter what ... make the decision that you think is right for your team. You go out there and lay an egg it’s the wrong decision. You win and it’s the right decision.”

Reminded of that 2007 decision by Coughlin, Daboll said it has no bearing on the choice he will utlimately make.

“I think every situation’s different. That’s a pretty unique circumstance that year, the record that the Patriots had,” Daboll said. “Every year’s different. What happened in 2007 doesn’t really have any effect on what’s happening in 2023 for the decisions that we need to make. We’ll do what we think is best for the team ... I think we’ve gotta focus on what we need to do here.”

Valentine’s View

Tony DelGenio and I discussed this on Monday’s ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast. I can see both sides of the argument. I think the best approach might be to treat it like a preseason game. Play most of the guys at least a little, but limit snaps and hits for players like Dexter Lawrence, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and a few others. A guy like Leonard Williams, dealing with a neck injury, probably shouldn’t even dress.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see how Daboll decides to play it.