Every team in the National Football League will have a last win, unless they go winless on the season. The New York Jets were the only team with a chance to do that this season, but as a 17 point road underdog they upset the Los Angeles Rams today, 23-20.
Some teams will have their last win on opening day, the Carolina Panthers did that in 2001, upsetting the Minnesota Vikings as a double-digit underdog on opening day and then losing 15 straight games. This year, the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the Indianapolis Colts on opening day, and haven’t won since.
Now, last wins of the season can happen in any week, but are most common after the 12th week of a campaign. Often, like the Dolphins upsetting the New England Patriots a few years ago early in December and then losing their final three games both straight-up and against the point spread. A last win for a bad team is most often an emotional victory that leaves that team drained after it happens.
Why am I telling you this right now?
Because two weeks ago the New York Giants upset the Seattle Seahawks on the road … and that victory has the trappings of being a last win for Joe Judge’s squad.
Consider this, the Giants struggled most of this season, put together a midseason run that had them in line for a playoff berth in the win-starved NFC East Division. Then, after winning three straight games to put them in the hunt for a playoff berth, a fourth straight victory came in unexpected fashion when they met the Seahawks as a double-digit road underdog.
They did it with a backup quarterback, Colt McCoy, and a defensive performance that had New York fans thinking that maybe their long suffering days were over.
I don’t think they are.
But, tonight, the Giants actually catch the Cleveland Browns in a spot that would normally bode well for the home team. Hosting a squad coming off an emotional home loss, like the one suffered by the Browns last Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens. After tonight, the Browns close out their regular season with a road game against the Jets and a season finale at home versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Those circumstances set a trap for the Browns tonight at MetLife Stadium.
But, Cleveland may not have to play their best to win this game, and perhaps even cover the bloated point spread, which currently has the Browns favored by 6½ points. What this leaves us with tonight is a game I’d like to take the points, but I’m not sure they will be enough given by all accounts the Giants have won their last game of 2020.
It’s primetime viewing tonight, without a vested interest in the outcome.