The Giants (5-9) at the Indianapolis Colts (8-6) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday, Dec. 23, at 1 p.m. ET.
There'll be some early snow showers turning into afternoon rain, and none of it will matter because they play in a dome.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Giants gave a good fight to bounce back from 1-7 and keep their miracle hopes alive into December. But with that out of the way, it'll be very interesting to see what happens next. There is no meaning in this game, other than Pat Shurmur's desire to re-teach the Giants how to win. It does not appear as if he'll start taking longer looks at young players, particularly rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta. That makes this game just a way for them to sadly play out the string.
PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Sterling Shepard
With Odell Beckham Jr. out last week, the Giants' No. 2 receiver didn't exactly step up and show anybody he has the ability to be a No. 1. Granted, it was pouring rain, but he had two catches for 37 yards despite being targeted nine times. There were several balls that slipped right through his hands and he just wasn't open consistently. The Giants need better than that out of him. In his last seven games, which includes the Giants' 4-1 stretch, Shepard didn't once have more than four catches or more than 37 yards. Four times he only had two catches. With production like that, is it a wonder that when Beckham is out there he's constantly being double- and triple-teamed?
Shepard will be back next season in a contract year, and so far he's proven to be a very underwhelming receiver whose rookie year (65 catches, 683 yards, eight touchdowns) has been his ceiling. He needs to do better than that to have a future with the Giants. He needs to be better than that to help make the Giants' struggling offense go.
Getting the Giants to keep fighting after 1-7 was really a triumph for Shurmur. It was a testament to his coaching, his ability to motivate his players and getting them to buy in. But that's a lot easier to do when there's an actual carrot in front of them, no matter how ridiculous that carrot seemed. Until last week they still had a chance at the playoffs, so of course they played hard. Now? It's all over. There are two meaningless, play-for-pride games left, and no matter how good the coach is, it's hard for veteran players to really get up for that. Coming off a lifeless 17-0 loss to the Titans won't help. There has been a dead feeling around the Giants this week as if they're going through motions until the offseason begins.
If that carries over into Sunday, on the road, against a team fighting for a playoff berth with a legitimately elite quarterback, they could be in a lot of trouble. Even with effort they might be in trouble, to be honest. With no Beckham, it's hard to see the offense clicking the way it had been. Saquon Barkley should see a steady diet of eight-man fronts. And if the Giants' pass rush can't get to Luck - and odds are it can't - he could be in for a very big day. ... Colts 34, Giants 23.
MY RECORD: 6-8
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO WIN: 1-4
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO LOSE: 5-4