The Giants (2-12) at the Arizona Cardinals (6-8) at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 4:25 p.m. ET.
Brrrr. … It'll only be in the low 70s on Sunday with partly cloudy skies. Good thing there's a retractable roof out there to keep everyone comfortable.
WHAT IT MEANS
Nothing at all. Go enjoy your Christmas Eve dinner. Pay no attention to this mess.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Giants QB Eli Manning. Technically, this could be the last road start of his Giants career, which is really not much of an interesting fact. More interestingly, the 36-year-old who once appeared to be winding down his time with the Giants -- and possibly in the NFL -- had a monster game last Sunday against the Eagles, completing 37 of 57 passes (64.9 percent) for 434 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. It was like Turn Back the Clock day, and he did it all without Odell Beckham Jr. Can he do it again? Will it matter if he does? Presumably, whatever decision the Giants make about his future won't be based on the next couple of games. Then again, if he finishes with a couple of strong games, who knows? The Giants have a lot of decisions to make about their quarterback situation in the offseason. Manning has a lot of supporters in the organization. Maybe for the first time in his career, he is at least a little bit playing for his job.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Giants LT Ereck Flowers vs. Cardinals LB Chandler Jones. Flowers and his supporters think he's improved. And he has a little bit from earlier in the season. But there's still not enough evidence that he should be the Giants' left tackle of the future, and a new GM will surely see that. Can he convince the new boss he still has promise? A good game against the NFL's sack leader would certainly bolster his case. Jones has had at least one sack in all but two games this season. He won't always be coming over Flowers; he'll surely find a welcoming target in RT Bobby Hart, too. But Jones is a blindside pass rusher who's not going to shy away from that side at all, especially since he can surely see on film that the Giants' line has been a mess in front of Manning all season long.
If ever the Giants were going to win another game this season, this certainly would be the one. The Cardinals have a mess of an offense, too, and even more of a quarterback quandary than the Giants. Their original starter, Carson Palmer, was injured. Then his replacement, Drew Stanton, was injured. Now, Stanton is coming back to take over for Blaine Gabbert. Granted, a low-powered, Stanton-led offense isn't a match for most teams, but the Giants have absolutely earned the right to be called one of the worst teams in the NFL. They have the NFL's worst defense and it has just been shredded by injuries.
And despite the show that Manning put on last Sunday, they have had one of the NFL's worst offenses all season and are the third-lowest-scoring team in the league. If Manning found a little magic against the Eagles and can carry it with him on this West Coast trip, then yeah, sure, they can win (and hurt their chances for a top-2 pick in the NFL draft). But at this point, it's hard to count on the Giants doing anything well. Their offense, despite flirting with 30 on Sunday for the first time since 2015, has been mostly dreadful and has struggled to move the ball against even average defenses. The Cardinals defense is better than average, and therein lies their edge in what promises to be a truly dreary Christmas Eve game. … Cardinals 19, Giants 13.
MY RECORD: 8-6
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO WIN: 0-4
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO LOSE: 8-2