The New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts will square off in a Week 16 game that means drastically different things for each team. The Giants, of course, were eliminated from the playoffs a week ago, while the Colts continue to battle for a seed in the AFC.
Opening the week, the Colts were 9.5-point home favorites and that hasn’t changed a bit as Indianapolis opens the weekend at +9.5, which is a surprise considering the number of injuries the Giants are dealing with.
As you can tell, there’s multiple areas of concern, but here are the three most prevalent.
As noted previously, the Colts have an overwhelming amount to play for on Sunday with their playoff lives essentially on the line. The Giants, on the other hand, have nothing to gain by winning and potentially quite a bit to gain by losing.
That’s not to say the Giants will intentionally tank — they won’t. But pretending the imbalance won’t impact the game is foolish because it will, even if head coach Pat Shurmur wants you to believe otherwise.
“Let’s assume you have a finite number of games that you’re going to play as a football player. Let’s assume that. I don’t know why you would let down,” Shurmur told reporters on Friday. “On the rare occasion when you’re in the playoffs and that next game means nothing, I see resting guys, but in this case here, we’re coaches and players. We’re paid to play and it just so happens that our profession is our hobby.
“I don’t – I’ve never understood that. That’s part of the narrative that I don’t understand because as football players, coaches – sometimes you play poorly. We didn’t play well last week in some areas and we lost, but it wasn’t because we went in there and let down. I don’t get that.”