All things considered, the New York Giants don’t have much to play for Week 17 at the Washington Redskins as they backed into the playoffs last week, the franchise’s first postseason appearance since 2011. But one thing that won’t be fueling their desire to win is any type of desire to knock their opponent out of playoff contention.
Washington has a 58 percent chance to make the playoffs according to projection website FiveThirtyEight, meaning that they need a win to get in. But while the Giants at 10-5 have already booked their spot in the playoffs, they won’t be playing on Sunday to try and knock out their NFC East rival from the postseason.
Merely beating a heated divisional rival is enough incentive to show up as is the need to straighten out their own ship.
“It's not about keeping them out of the playoffs or keeping them at bay or whatever the case may be. We failed to beat them earlier on in the season and we obviously want to have a better showing against them this time,” Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “We lost a pretty significant lead against them in the first go-around, so that's kind of our emphasis, is going out there and gaining some revenge against that first game because of the way we played and how they came back to beat us.”
While playoff seeding and match-ups are at stake, the Giants first and foremost want to emerge from the Washington game without any more significant injuries. They also would like to get an eleventh win and a little momentum heading into the playoffs.
Especially after a disjointed and dispirited effort last week in a loss at the Philadelphia Eagles. Losing two straight going into the playoffs is not exactly ideal.
“The importance? You don’t ever want to lose. I don’t care when it is. What part of the season or what’s at stake. You don’t ever want to lose. Honestly, I can’t say, I’ve never been to the playoffs. I can imagine that it’s 0-0 for the seventeenth game and there’s going to be a certain type of energy there,” running back Rashad Jennings said. “We’re not there yet. We have a division game on the road against a good opponent that is going to be fighting for everything. I’m looking forward to it.”