In case you haven't been glued to a scoreboard, the New York Giants got throttled today by the Carolina Panthers. The score of this game simply baffles me as a sports fan and as a writer.
The Giants had two big reasons to win. Had the Giants beaten the Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings next week, they were in the playoffs if the Dallas Cowboys lost one of their last two games. Not only that, but this was also the last game to ever be played in their current home stadium.
However, what's done is done. The Giants lost big to the Carolina Panthers and now they face a back in the playoffs situation. The Giants will need to beat Minnesota and they will also need the Cowboys to lose twice. (Redskins, Eagles) It seems highly unlikely that the Cowboys will lose both of these games.
That brings me to tonight's game between the Cowboys and the Redskins. The Redskins really had nothing to play for in this game. They already have a new General Manager and a new coach is going to be in place by mid January. However, before today, the Redskins could have put a serious dent in the Cowboys' playoff chances. Had the Giants won today, the Redskins could at least go in to the game with that mind set of denting the Cowboys' playoff hopes.
Now, once kickoff comes tonight, the only real things the Redskins have to play for are to not go 0-6 in the NFC East and to not let the Cowboys clinch their playoff spot against them in Washington. That isn't much motivation really for anyone other than a fan. Most of the players probably do not care about whether they go 0-6 or 1-5 in the NFC East since in the end, it won't mean much. Some of the players might care enough to not want to let the Cowboys clinch in Washington, but will that be enough to motivate?
So the question is, with little to play for, which Redskins will show up? The ones that looked fairly competitive the previous four weeks before last weekend and the coaching rumors started, or, the team that totally got embarrassed on National TV by the New York Giants?