While neither team has anything for which to play, there is one notable storyline when the New York Giants host the Washington Redskins in Sunday’s regular-season finale between the bitter NFC East rivals. There’s a chance that both quarterbacks — Washington’s Kirk Cousins and New York’s Eli Manning — could be with different teams next season.
The Redskins have used the franchise tag on Cousins in each of the past two seasons, so speculation already has begun on whether he will end up on the free-agent market. “I’m looking at the future as Sunday against the New York Giants,” Cousins said. “That’s really where my future is right now.” Among the many lowlights for New York was the controversial one-game benching of Manning, who, like Cousins, prefers to focus on the immediate task at hand — avenging a 20-10 loss in Washington on Thanksgiving Day. “I think in football you never know when your last game is going to be,” Manning said. “It’s a physical game, so you always treat it like it’s your last. So, I’m just going about it, try to play well and move the offense.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Redskins -3. O/U: 37.5
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (7-8): Cousins, who needs 65 passing yards to reach 4,000 for the third straight season, rallied Washington past New York with a pair of second-half touchdown passes in the previous meeting. After a pair of rocky performances in back-to-back drubbings at Dallas and the Los Angeles Chargers, he has five touchdowns against one interception in home wins over Arizona and Denver the past two weeks. Wideout Jamison Crowder was a bright spot on Thanksgiving with seven catches for 141 yards and a touchdown while rookie Samaje Perine ran for 100 yards. Washington notched four of its 40 sacks on Thanksgiving.
ABOUT THE GIANTS (2-13): Losers of five in a row, New York had the look of a team playing out the string in a meek 23-0 setback in Arizona last week that dropped the team to 0-3 under interim coach Steve Spagnuolo. Manning was benched following an ugly performance in the first matchup against Washington, when he was limited to a season-low 113 yards passing. Manning could be without his leading receiver in tight end Evan Engram (bruised ribs) and can’t rely on a running game that is ranked 29th with an average of 85.9 yards. New York also will be without safety Landon Collins and cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
1. Manning has thrown for 879 yards and six TDs in his last three at home versus the Redskins.
2. A win will give Washington three consecutive years without a losing season for the first time since 1999-2001.
3. New York benched CB Eli Apple on Wednesday due to conduct detrimental to the team.
PREDICTION: Giants 20, Redskins 19