May 21, 2024

Could the Philadelphia Eagles prioritize resting key starters for the playoffs over putting maximum effort into winning the NFC East title on Sunday against the New York Giants? Eagles coach Nick Sirianni acknowledged on Monday that it is a factor to consider.

“We always try to think through everything and are constantly considering different scenarios,” he explained. “Our primary goal is to win this game, but we are aware of the possibility you mentioned because we carefully consider all factors. We know that winning the division depends on another team, and there are many variables beyond our control. However, we still recognize the importance of winning this game.”

To secure a second consecutive division title, the Eagles must beat the Giants and rely on the Washington Commanders defeating the Dallas Cowboys. Both games are scheduled for Sunday at 4:25.

Philadelphia Eagles Nick Sirianni Considers Resting Key Players in Week 18  vs. New York Giants - Sports Illustrated Philadelphia Eagles News, Analysis  and More

The Eagles, who were once 10-1 and appeared destined for a division title, have stumbled in four of their last five games. Their lone victory in this stretch was a 33-25 win over the Giants in Week 16, where they almost let a 20-3 halftime lead slip away. In Week 17, they suffered a defeat to the 4-12 Arizona Cardinals.

The upcoming game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium could be seen as the Eagles’ last opportunity to regroup before entering the playoffs and defending their NFC championship.

Sirianni addressed the possibility of resting players, stating, “We need to break out of our current situation. I’m not giving a definitive yes or no. Everything is under discussion, but there are uncertainties about the Dallas-Washington game. We need to focus on playing and coaching well to enter the playoffs on a positive note.”

Last year, the Giants rested their starters in the season finale after securing a playoff spot with no impact on seeding. The Giants lost the game 22-16, with Davis Webb making his only career start at quarterback.

Having lost five consecutive games to the Eagles and holding a 3-17 record in their last 20 matchups, the Giants aim to break the streak on Sunday and prevent any NFC East team from winning consecutive division titles for 19 seasons.

Despite the desire to win, fans may have mixed emotions. The Giants currently hold the No. 5 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. A win on Sunday could drop them to No. 8, while a loss, coupled with wins by the four-win Cardinals, Commanders, and New England Patriots, could elevate them to the No. 2 pick.

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