It’s Week 15 of the NFL season and the 7-5-1 Washington Commanders will be facing a 7-5-1 Giants team in Raljon.
This game has massive playoff implications in the NFC, with Washington currently sitting at sixth in the NFC playoff standings and the Giants holding on at seventh. The Giants have now lost 4 of 6, while Washington has won 6 of its last 8 games. A win by either team this week will put them in excellent shape to make the post-season this year. The loser will have a considerably more complicated path.
To learn more about these and other issues, I asked Ed Valentine of Big Blue View five questions about the state of the Giants and what to look for in this game.
1) After a couple of years marred by injury and underperformance, Saquon Barkley seems to back to his early pro form. Do you think the Giants will extend him this offseason to a sizeable second contract?
There were whispers a few weeks ago that the Giants were amenable to extending Barkley, but not at Christian McCaffrey/Ezekiel Elliott numbers. Not at $15 million or more per year. Maybe more around the $12-13 million mark, which would be in the Dalvin Cook/Derrick Henry/Nick Chubb range.
Barkley’s production has slowed over the past month — he is averaging less than 3.0 yards per carry. I have to wonder if the remainder of the season will play a factor in the ultimate decision about his future. If they do extend him I would expect it to be a shorter term deal, or at least one the Giants can get out from under in a couple of years without a massive cap penalty.
2) Last time we talked, you asked an interesting question, which I’ll pose back to you: If you could have one player on Washington’s roster playing for the Giants, who would it be and why?
You know the “clear and obvious” standard officials are supposed to apply to replay review? I feel like there is only one “clear and obvious” answer to that question. I don’t know how anyone who understands what the Giants are, and are not, can look at the Commanders roster and not choose wide receiver Terry McLaurin as the one player the Giants could use most. The Commanders have some quality defensive players, but McLaurin is an easy choice.
The Giants are last in the league in explosive passing plays. They do not have a No. 1 wide receiver — they don’t even have anyone close to being that. McLaurin would be a game-changer for the Giants offense. Easy call. No replay review necessary.
3) The Giants felt the full wrath of Philadelphia last weekend. What do you think went most wrong for the Giants in the game?
Is EVERYTHING a good enough answer? The Eagles simply played a dominant game, which they didn’t do in their loss to the Commanders. They showed the Giants just how far they have to go to be a championship-caliber team. The Eagles did whatever they wanted on offense. Defensively, Philadelphia dominated the line of scrimmage.
4) Are there any players the Giants are expecting back this week, who may not have played in the first game, who are likely to be difference makers?
There were hopes that safety Xavier McKinney (fractured fingers on his left from an accident during the bye week) and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson would be back, but it doesn’t look like that will happen. I think defensive lineman Leonard Williams will play, and guard Ben Bredeson could come off IR. Williams is the real difference-maker.
5) What are you expecting the final score of the game to be this week? DraftKings Sportsbook has the over/under set at 40.5. How many points do you expect to be scored overall?
I’m expecting another tight game. I almost always recommend taking the ‘under’ on Giants games. I think this week will be another game where the point total is right around that over/under. I feel like the deck is stacked against the Giants a bit with the way the schedule worked out, but I’m picking the Giants to win. They have been resilient all year, and maybe this pick is made a bit with my heart and not my head but I still feel like the Giants are the better team and will find a way to pull this one out.
Thanks again to Ed Valentine for taking time out of his day to answer our questions about the Giants.
As of right now, Vegas has Washington as 4.5 point favorites over New York. How would you bet?
This poll is closed
Washington wins by 5 or more points.
Washington wins by 4 points or less, or ties.
New York win.
As of now, Vegas has the over/under for this game at 40.5 points. Which would you bet?
This poll is closed
41 or more total points are scored.
40 or fewer points are scored.