The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon to close out the 2023 regular season.
It was a positive finish to an otherwise dismal season that saw the Giants finish 6-11 and out of the postseason one year after they made their first trip to the playoffs in six years.
Here are three things we learned from Sunday’s Week 18 game.
The season is too long
Not for me, as I am a gambler by trade, but for the game in general. 18 weeks is proving to be a bit much for the players, coaches, media, and just about everyone who draws a salary from professional football.
The quality of the game has taken a huge hit due to excessive injuries to star players (which has led to backups playing too many snaps), poor officiating, dubious coaching, and a rulebook that needs some serious revising.
On Sunday, it was hard to believe the Eagles were the team headed to the postseason, not the Giants. They are a mess and incurred several more key injuries in their lopsided loss to a Giant team that had had loads of issues all season.
As they prepare to face the Buccaneers in Tamps next Monday night in the Super Wild Card round, Philly has lost five of their last six and looks like a defeated bunch.
Giants are clearly ready to turn the page
On Sunday, we saw many players play their final game for the Giants. It was clear they wanted to feature veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard as much as possible because not only is his Giants career over, but his NFL career is likely done as well.
Running back Saquon Barkley needed 84 yards rushing to reach 1,000 yards on the season. They held him back a bit with 18 attempts, in which he gained just 46 yards (but scored twice).
In the fourth quarter, they took Barkley out in favor of his heir apparent, rookie Eric Gray, sealing his fate and likely ending his Giants career.
“There’s so much time between now and next season,” head coach Brian Daboll said about Barkley and others’ futures after the game. “All speculation.”
Not really. He and general manager Joe Schoen are still molding the roster to fit their vision. Any remnants of the previous regime should try to clean out as much of their lockers as possible this week.