The loser of the Giants-Eagles game on Sunday will determine which team plays the Rams in London next season. What are the pros and cons of playing overseas?
Football teams and coaches are creatures of habit and routine, so nothing that occurs during the season will be as significant a break from the norm as a trip across the pond. But the teams leave early enough to adjust to the time change. On the practice field and on game day, it's just football as it always is. The NFL has been doing this for several years now, so the entire experience from departure to return is very smooth. Perhaps the biggest benefit for players is the bonding experience – you're in a foreign country for several days, so you might have extra time to spend time with and get close to your teammates. But it's important to keep in mind that the primary objective of the trip is to win a football game.
Which positions need the most improvement heading into the offseason?
I don't presume to be a general manger or personnel expert. But a quick glance of the NFL statistics provides some clues. The Giants' defense is ranked 32nd overall and against the pass, 31st in sacks and opposing third down percentage, and 25th against the run. All of the eight-lowest ranked defensive teams will be home for the playoffs this season. It's not a trip out on limb to say the defense must be improved.
Keep an eye on these five players as the Giants face the Eagles on Sunday