They didn't want to say it, but the Giants know Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles can be summed up in one word.
In an NFC East spectacle on Sunday, the Eagles took down the Cowboys. Now Philly needs one more win to get into the playoffs, which has to come at the Giants' expense.
So is spoiler the mantra for the Giants this week as the team preps for their finale against their division rival? That depends if you buy stock in non-verbal communication.
Giants head coach Pat Shurmur and running back Saquon Barkley were on the same side when saying the G-Men will focus on themselves. Their eventual smiles when being asked about playing spoiler sent a whole different message.
After a couple of questions on Monday about playing "spoiler," Shurmur finally cracked. The coach said the message "internally" is to win, as always. But he admitted the reality.
"We're well aware of what the external message is and we're going to do what we can to put a winning performance on the field," Shurmur said smirking.
Barkley on the other hand? All smiles, all interview long, despite not directly saying that keeping the Eagles out of the postseason is a motivator.
"We just want to finish the season off strong. That's the mindset that we have. But, come on, everyone knows…" Barkley said.
"Everyone knows that it would be… it's a big game. It's going to be a big game because it's the last game for us, we want to go off on the right note. Obviously, it's a big game for them. I think they have to win to clinch in the playoffs. I think it could be something big for us if we could finish off the season strong going into the offseason into next year."
Aside from playing spoiler against the Eagles, Shurmur also mentioned the importance of the game for young players now getting playing time with the Giants eliminated from the playoffs.
"It only changes things if you build on it in the offseason and play better to start the year," Shurmur said. "The number of young players we have going through this for the first and even just for the second time, them learning how to win in December is important."
In their first meeting, the 4-11 Giants took a lead into the second half, but the 8-7 Eagles scored 14 unanswered points in the second half for the win.