The New York Giants have clinched an appearance in the NFL Playoffs. Should head coach Ben McAdoo rest his starters during Week 17?
The New York Giants are going to the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2011. That’s reason to rejoice as a Giants fan, but it’s also reason to put serious thought into what the best course of action is for Week 17.
After clinching a postseason appearance in Week 16, should the Giants rest their starters?
New York hasn’t just clinched a postseason appearance, but the No. 5 seed. The Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Washington Redskins are all in the running for the No. 6 seed, but New York’s place in the standings is safe.
According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN’s NFL Nation, veteran defensive tackle Jonathan Casillas is hopeful that the starters will get to rest in Week 17.
"“That would be great if we could [rest], if we’re in that situation,” Casillas said after Thursday night’s loss. “I think it would benefit everybody, especially myself, coming off a little knee [injury] I had.”"
The question is: should the Giants rest their starters against Washington?
The contrarian point would be that New York’s offense has been far too inconsistent to give it a week off. The running game has been erratic, at best, and the passing attack has been predictable for far too long to be comfortable with.
Thus, it could be reasoned that the Giants need their starters to finish the regular season on a high note in preparation for a potential game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Having said that, the Giants would be running the risk of losing a key player to injury during what has become a game with a meaningless outcome.
Derek Carr led the Oakland Raiders to 11 wins in its first 14 games and was on pace for a 12th when he suffered a broken fibula in Week 16. Marcus Mariota had the Tennessee Titans in the running for a postseason appearance when he fractured his fibula.
Those injuries were a harsh reminder of how quickly a season could be lost as a result of an injury, especially in Week 17.
The New York Giants have already clinched a postseason appearance. It may not be worth the risk to worry about momentum.