In what was one of two highly anticipated “Tank Bowls” of Sunday (Cincinnati @ Miami as the other), an overtime thriller resulted in a New York Giants win, improving their record to 4-11. Though, improved might not be the best term to describe it.
Let’s breakdown their 41-35 victory in Washington:
The strong win was led by emerging rookie QB Daniel Jones, who returned from a two week injury absence / final Eli sendoff. “Danny Dimes” put up 352 passing yards with 5 passing touchdowns. This was the first time that a rookie ever had 350+ passing yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions in NFL History, which is very impressive.
Saquon Barkley – the defending Rookie of the Year, – also put up amazing numbers for the second week in a row, as he continues to recover from his own nagging injury. He gained a total of 279 yards with a touchdown through both the air and ground. It really is great to see Barkley is back to his electric self after returning from that aforementioned injury, which certainly slowed him down for the past month and change.
While all of this is great, people have been interpreting the potentially costly win (in terms of draft position) with two different trains of thought:
First, is the positive side. For example, Art Stapleton – a Giants insider – supported successes of the G-men in one of his tweets (below):
I get the frustration over the Giants falling out of the No. 2 spot in chase for Chase Young, but are we really suggesting current players should do what they can to lose? Or ownership should tell them to lose?
Your QB threw 5 TDs today and the RB looked generational again. 🤷♂️
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) December 23, 2019
Then, there’s the opposite side of the spectrum, which is that the Giants’ chances of drafting Ohio State’s star pass rusher Chase Young are greatly decreased with the win. To add salt to the wound, these believers of the negative side treated this win over Washington as not even impressive or important.
Young is unanimously known as the best defensive player in the draft; and possibly holds the most potential of all prospects.
The loss moved their draft spot to the fourth pick, as NY was jumped by Washington (3-12) and Detroit (3-11-1). Young will most likely be off the board by then, forcing the Giants to settle for someone with much less talent.
Overall, it’s a continuation of the complex debate of full-on tanking, or trying to win in these awkward moments where a player of such desire is in reach; but you must lose some real crappy games to get the prospect.
Was this win – and the confidence boost for the Giants’ future offensive cornerstone duo of Jones and Barkley – worth it in the long run? Or will this win quickly turn into a long-term loss, as Chase Young haunts them twice a year as a member of the Redskins’ D-Line? Only time will tell.