Giants Could Get Screwed by Eagles' Potential Rest Plans in Week 18

The New York Giants' top draft pick hopes could be hurt by the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 18.

East Rutherford, NJ     December 31, 2023 -- Giants head coach Brian Daboll after his offense was
East Rutherford, NJ December 31, 2023 -- Giants head coach Brian Daboll after his offense was / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA
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Out of playoff contention heading into the final week of the season, all eyes are now on what draft position the New York Giants will secure when the dust is settled. Brian Daboll's squad is currently in the No. 5 spot with its 5-11 record, but only due to a tiebreaker, as the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans also own the same marks through Week 17.

That means a top-five pick is on the line this weekend for three teams. While Giants fans are rooting for a loss to solidify that premium draft capital, the Philadelphia Eagles have the opportunity to make that task much tougher.

On Monday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters "everything's [being] discussed" when asked about possibly resting his starters during Sunday's game versus New York. This is because Philly will likely have nothing to play for if the Dallas Cowboys win against the Washington Commanders to lock up the NFC's No. 2 seed and the division crown.

Of course, there's several factors that will complicate Sirianni's strategy. The biggest of which is the fact that the Eagles-Giants game and Cowboys-Commanders matchup are at the same time (4:25 p.m. ET) on Sunday. That means Philadelphia and Dallas won't have any prior knowledge of the other's Week 18 fate, so decisions must be made in real-time.

There's also the fact that the Eagles are down in the dumps and could sorely use a win to start building positive momentum for the postseason. Sirianni won't want his key players to go cold if they're given a week-plus layoff, which would favor playing them against the Giants.

Philly could ultimately take both paths on Sunday. Maybe the team plays its starters until it's clear the Cowboys are running away with a victory and then pulls them. That'd give their most important contributors a chance to both stay in game shape and get some rest before Wild Card Weekend.

In theory, the Eagles' backups should still be able to take care of business against a hurting Giants squad. But Daboll's group has shown they're not going to lay down to end the year, which could ultimately lead to New York ending the season with a win and jeopardizing its chances of netting a top-five pick in April's draft.