The 3-9 Giants face off against the 2-10 Titans on Sunday, a game that could end the current longest losing streak in the NFL -- Giants, with seven -- while simultaneously handing that honor to the Titans, who are tied with the Panthers for second-longest streak at six..
Giants! Titans! Something has to give in this battle of the largies!
Knowing how these two teams have played this season, the game will probably end in a scoreless tie.
If a team ties in a game, does that end its losing streak? Should it? I picked Cincinnati in my survivor pool earlier this year when the Bengals were playing the Panthers, and true to their Bungles nature, Cincinnati didn’t win or lose. They tied, which was as good as a loss in my survivor pool, where the prevailing edict is “win and advance.”
If you’ve made it this far in your own survivor pool, I hope you’re not forced by the remaining choices to pick either the Giants or the Titans this week. But if you are, you’ll at least have a good reason to watch the game. And really, do you need a good reason to watch NFL football? What else are you going to do, hang out with your friends or family? You just had a whole long week of that jazz over Thanksgiving, and you’ll have plenty more during the remainder of the holiday season.
You might as well sit back, watch football, and shop for presents on Amazon (because if you step foot inside a mall in December you deserve all the needless anxiety).
On the face of it, a Giants-Titans matchup is not that intriguing. But beyond the well-chronicled questions seeping from the carcass of the Giants’ 2014 season -- Will Tom Coughlin be fired? Will Eli Manning be brought back next season? Is recent parolee Ryan Leaf the answer at quarterback? There are plenty of reasons to be intrigued by this game.
The top reason? These are the two of the four worst defenses in the NFL, so we just might witness the shattering of some NFL records.
If you watched the Giants blow a 21-0 lead to the Jaguars last Sunday, you know that no New York lead is safe. And if you watched the Titans get trounced 45-21 by the Texans, then you know the Titans are so bad they made Ryan Fitzpatrick-to-DeAndre Hopkins look like Chad Pennington-to-Randy Moss.
Fitzpatrick had 358 yards passing and Hopkins had 238 yards receiving. Can Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. surpass those numbers? They might as well try.
But this game won’t be all about duck and chuck. Plenty of other players on both sides of the ball are auditioning for future roles, either with their current teams or with other organizations. Players like Giants’ defensive end Damontre Moore, who is going to have the opportunity to get extended playing time following the season-ending injuries to Mathias Kiwanuka and Robert Ayers.
Games like this might look meaningless, but they never are. Especially if you made the fantasy playoffs and have Beckham on your team.
In short: Chuck it, Eli. Chuck it like you’ve never chucked it before. If you can give David Tyree a lifetime’s worth of free meals in New York City, then you can give Beckham a shot at breaking former Ram Flipper Anderson’s 25-year-old record of 336 receiving yards.
It’s astounding in this era of record-breaking passing records, that Anderson’s mark -- set against the Saints -- still stands. Sure, some guys have approached the record (including Calvin Johnson, who had 329 yards against the Cowboys last season), but none have surpassed it.
What a treat it’d be to witness that on Sunday, when I could be out at a mall shopping for presents.