With the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants scheduled to face off in a meaningless Week 17 season finale on Sunday, I reached out to our friends/enemies over at Big Blue View. The great Ed Valentine kindly took the time to answer my questions.
Let's take a look at the answers.
1) A lot has changed since the last time these two teams played in Week 6. What’s different about the Giants?
Well, the biggest difference is that Odell Beckham is now fully integrated into the offense. In fact, the offense is all about Beckham. It will be a stunner, I think, if he doesn't win Rookie of the Year. Another difference is the emergence of so many young players. With 22 guys on IR there are young guys all over the field, and they are doing a good job.
2) Odell Beckham Jr. is amazing. Are there any weaknesses in his game?
Well, he probably can't leap tall buildings in a single bound. Though, maybe he can. Did you see the ridiculous move he put on Rams safety Mark Barron Sunday? The thing about Beckham is that he is also an entertainer, and he found out the hard way on Sunday that his showmanship is not appreciated by the guys on the other side. If anything, he needs to learn to pick his spots and make sure he doesn't put himself, or his teammates, in jeopardy. What happened Sunday was really on the Rams for being thugs, but Beckham didn't help things.
3) To what extent did this Giants season play out like you expected?
Well, that's a hard question. I said all along that this could be an 11-5 season for the Giants, or a 5-11 one. With so many new players, a totally new offense and a ton of young guys what the Giants tried to do was very difficult. In reality, they tried to jam two years of rebuilding into one off-season. I thought they would be better at the end of the season than they were at the beginning, and they are. I never saw a seven-game losing streak coming in the middle, though.
4) I don’t think most Eagles fans really care about this game. How do Giants fans feel about this matchup?
Are you serious? This is the Eagles. To paraphrase Michael Strahan, Giants fans would like to "stomp you out." There are always people who call themselves "fans" who would rather see the team lose to get a higher draft pick, but that's nonsense. There's only one bummer for Giants fans -- the Giants won't be the team that knocks Philly out of the playoffs.
5) Is this the last game for Tom Coughlin and/or Eli Manning as a member of the Giants?
I seriously doubt that. It seems more and more likely that Coughlin will be back next season. He shows no signs of wanting to leave, and there is also the idea that the Giants seem to finally be pointed in the right direction. If Coughlin goes, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo might, as well. And that's a problem, because the Giants would have to start over with another new offense. As for Eli, he's been terrific. He had one bad (ok, HORRIFIC) game this season. He has completed 69.7 percent of his passes in his last five games with 11 TDs and 2 picks. He probably gets a contract extension this off-season.
Bonus: Let’s hear a score prediction, because why not.
This goes back to question No. 4. Do I think the Giants are better than the Eagles? No. What I do think is that the way this season has unfolded, and where we have arrived, this game means something to the Giants. It means nothing to the Eagles. The Giants are also riding a three-game winning streak. I think they make it four. Giants 30, Eagles 20.