Ben McAdoo Needs To Rest His Key Players Against Redskins
The New York Giants are locked into the number 5 seed whether they win, lose or tie on Sunday against the Washington Redskins in the regular season finale.
Earlier this week, head coach Ben McAdoo said he intends to play his starters, and approach this game as if it were any other regular season game.
While it's admirable that the Giants are going out and trying to win a game that essentially doesn’t matter to them, there’s a huge risk in the Giants playing their key players against a Redskins team that is fighting for the 6th seed.
Some may say the Giants did this back in 2007 when they played the undefeated New England Patriots in the regular season finale when their playoff seeding was locked in. As we all know the Giants lost that game 38-35, but they rode the momentum of that game into the playoffs, and would go onto defeat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
But this Giants team is not as deep as the 2007 team, and an injury to one of their key players would be devastating.
If something were to happen to Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, Justin Pugh, Olivier Vernon or Janoris Jenkins, it would seriously jeopardize the Giants chances of moving past the wildcard round.
In the case of Odell Beckham Jr. specifically, it's prudent to consider there’s a possibility that he could get involved with Josh Norman in another altercation that could result in a suspension like last year when Norman was with the Carolina Panthers. The Redskins are a desperate team and Norman and the rest of the Redskins will try to provoke Beckham in hopes that he’ll lose his cool.
The Giants have shown they can play with anybody in the league this season, and have a legit chance of winning their fifth Lombardi Trophy if they have their key players healthy.
Ben McAdoo deserves to be mentioned as a coach of the year candidate for the success the Giants have had this season. But if his decision to play his starters backfires and someone gets hurt, it will be considered a huge coaching blunder.
Jason Leach is an analyst for Pro Football Spot for the New York Giants for @pfspot. Follow him on Twitter @JasonKLeach