Here was Tom Coughlin regarding his decision to play his starters in the regular-season finale against the Perfect Patriots in 2007.
“Our objective is to win,” Coughlin said at the time. “That’s what we work for, that’s what we prepare for, that’s what we practice for. And it will be no different this week.”
And his Giants lost the battle, but won the Super Bowl XLII war … against the Perfect Patriots.
Ben McAdoo adopted the same approach in the meaningless 2016 season finale against the Redskins. The Giants were locked into the 5 seed in the NFC playoffs.
“We’re going to play our players and go win the ball game,” McAdoo said at the time. “That’s what we do for a living. We only have 53 players on our roster. It’s tough to go through a game if you rest your starters. We think we have 53 starters. Everyone plays a role on the team and you go in, you have an opportunity to play this week, we have to win the game this week.”
Eli Manning played the entire game. Everyone but Beckham, who was removed early in the second half, and Janoris Jenkins, who played the first half with his bruised back, did as well.
“We are putting the pedal to the metal,” Landon Collins said at the time. “We are playing it like a playoff game, treating it like a playoff game and coming out and firing on all cylinders. That is our mindset, and we are trying to get the W.”
His Giants won the battle and eliminated the Redskins from the postseason but lost the playoff war the following week in Green Bay.
“For them it is a playoff game,” Manning said at the time. “So I think we had to take that same mentality. Just go over there and match the same intensity.”
I get it. It’s about a mentality, a mindset. A heavy-handed, battle-hardened team. It’s football. All of that.
And discretion is the better part of valor, too.
Don’t play with fire here, Coach.
Tell Odell Beckham Jr. you appreciate him wanting to ball out with his teammates and defend the city from those Jets in the prestigious Snoopy Bowl.
Tell him to enjoy the game from the sidelines as a cheerleader.
This isn’t about going soft and keeping Beckham out of harm’s way from a predator either trying to make a name for himself or trying to make a roster.
This is about making certain that your best player will be healthy for Dallas on opening night.
This isn’t a regular-season game to get your team primed for the postseason. This is a preseason game that gives your best player the best chance to rest a sprained ankle, so he is at his best for the start of the regular season.
Beckham and Eli Manning have played 44 real games together and do not need a final dress rehearsal to get on the same page when they will have more than enough practice time together between now and Sept. 10.
This is about common sense, for both the Giants and for Beckham.
Beckham has been promised a monster payday by Giants ownership. That monster payday is always one catastrophic injury away from oblivion. He, too, would be playing with fire.
Beckham was certain after The Scare in Cleveland that his ankle was just fine. It would be much better with two weeks rest.
Beckham has yet to win a playoff game in his three seasons as a Giant. This is the best supporting cast he has had. But he is The Straw That Stirs The Drink. The Giants won’t win a Super Bowl without him.
Sit him, Coach. For his sake, and for your team’s sake.
This News Credit Goes To >> Source link