Giants are bad, but here are 3 reasons to watch them against Washington

Odell Beckham Jr. can be fun to watch, even when the rest of the team has been struggling.
Odell Beckham Jr. can be fun to watch, even when the rest of the team has been struggling. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

A pair of trades this week, after another disappointing loss on Monday night, have made it clear that the New York Giants are packing it in on 2018.

Young cornerback Eli Apple is with the New Orleans Saints. Elite defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison was shipped to the Detroit Lions. Reportedly, a trade could be on the horizon before the Oct. 30 deadline to deal top cornerback Janoris Jenkins, clearly hitting the reset button on the defense.

The fact that Big Blue hosts the Washington Redskins (4-2), who currently lead their division, on Sunday afternoon seems almost pointless. It’s not often that’s said about a rivalry game before the midway point of the NFL schedule.

But, the show must go on. Here are three reasons a Giants (1-6) fan might want to watch the game.

Highlight potential

With all the bad football played by Big Blue since the start of last season, it can be easy to forget that the team features some of the best playmakers in the sport.

Odell Beckham Jr. has authored some of the most eye-popping catches in the history of the league, and he can pull them off any time the ball comes his way. He can be frustrating for a number of on- and off-field reasons, but always appreciate his moments of greatness.

Same goes for Saquon Barkley, the man Giants brass felt was more important to bring aboard than a quarterback of the future. From his first NFL touchdown in Week 1 to his critical, though ultimately futile, lead-changing score against the Carolina Panthers earlier this month, watching Barkley is worth the price of admission.

‘Next man up’

The mantra is practically a requirement to coach football. When one player goes down or is sent away, another is expected to fill the void. With the trades of Apple and Snacks — there’s a food theme — several players will see more snaps.

Journeyman B.W. Webb, 28, figures to pick up the lion’s share of Apple’s workload. Keep an eye on undrafted rookie Grant Haley, who will figure into nickel packages. Both will be motivated to earn a place in the Giants’ post-2018 plans. 

Dalvin Tomlinson already was a useful part of the defensive line, but he’ll be more heavily relied upon with Harrison gone. He was a second-round pick a year ago and played ably as a rookie. He figures to be the long-term solution at nose tackle.

Eli endangered

While "next man up" doesn’t yet apply to the quarterback position, it’s becoming increasingly likely Eli Manning is in his final year leading the Giants.

Although he isn’t as prone to giveaways as he was earlier in his career, Manning isn’t effectively leading the offense anymore. One bad game, or even a poor half of football against Washington, could be reason enough for coach Pat Shurmur to give fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta a look.

Manning has been a fixture in the metropolitan area for more than a decade. Those who backed him when they were winning might want to soak in his final days — even if it hurts to watch.

Scott’s prediction

Washington 20, Giants 10