The 2022 NFL season wraps up this weekend, and the New York Giants won’t be taking the field until they play the Philadelphia Eagles at 4:25 on Sunday. However, the NFL is taking advantage of the absence of College Football to play a couple games on Saturday evening.
First the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Las Vegas Raiders at 4:30, then the Tennessee Titans will play the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC South title. And while neither of today’s games have any immediate bearing on the Giants, there are certainly reasons for Giants’ fans to tune in.
Feel free to use this as your open thread for today’s games.
Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) at Las Vegas Raiders (6-10)
ABC - 4:30 p.m.
The Raiders are one of the biggest underdogs of the week, with the Chiefs being 8.5-point favorites.
The obvious draw here is Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is the likely MVP and continues to amaze on a weekly basis. This is also a chance for Giants fans to check in on Kadarius Toney in a Chiefs’ uniform. Toney has played in 6 games (starting 2) since being traded to the Chiefs, with 12 receptions on 15 targets for 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Giants fans can also use the opportunity to see former Giants’ DC Steve Spagnuolo do his thing with the Chiefs’ defense.
On the Raiders side of things, third-year QB Jarrett Stidham has replaced Derek Carr as the starter. He spent the first two years of his career with the New England Patriots, who traded him to the Raiders in May. Stidham got the first start of his career last week in a 37-34 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He completed 31 of 47 (66 percent) for 365 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions — as well as running for 34 yards on 7 carries. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Raiders add a quarterback in the off-season, but a strong finish from Stidham would be a good audition for the chance to remain the starter in 2023.
Tennessee Titans (7-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)
ABC - 8:15 p.m.
We have a true “Win and In” game with the AFC South crown on the line. As it stands now, the Jaguars lead the AFC South and are in the playoffs. However, a win for the Titans will make them the AFC South champions and the AFC’s fourth seed with an 8-9 record.
The Titans certainly haven’t been the team we expected when the 2022 season started. The 2021 AFC Champions have stumbled their way through the season and never got any kind of traction. Now they’re starting the newly-signed Josh Dobbs rather than 2022 draftee Malik Willis and are 6.5-point underdogs to the Jaguars.
And the Jags are probably the reason why Giants fans will want to tune in to this game.
Second-year QB Trevor Lawrence has completed a remarkable turnaround to his young career under new head coach Doug Pederson. Lawrence is making good on the promise that made him the first pick in last year’s draft. This year has also seen a resurgence for former Giants tight end Evan Engram. Engram is having his best year since his rookie campaign, setting a career-high in yards with 69 catches on 94 targets for 739 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s also set a career-high in catch percentage and cut his drop rate down significantly.
The Jaguars have completed a remarkable turnaround from a season-long train wreck in 2021 to a team poised to become a force in their conference in 2023.