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Colts vs. Giants Week 17 preview: Can the Colts spoil the Giants' hopes to clinch a playoff berth?

The Giants are a game away from clinching a playoff berth for the first time since 2016. Can Nick Foles and the Colts ruin their New Year’s Day celebration?

NFL: DEC 18 Giants at Commanders Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As of this writing, DraftKings Sportsbook has the New York Giants at 5.5-point favorites over the Indianapolis Colts. Given that the Colts have been setting NFL records for onfield incompetence for much of the last month, it’s probably safe to assume the Giants will cover.

For Indianapolis Colts fans, the pain of the 2022 NFL season is nearing an end. This season will likely sting for a while, but at least the weekly obligation to be reminded of how bad things have gotten will be over. Colts fans will immediately jump into a debate about the future at head coach, pine for a new General Manager, loathe Jim Irsay’s new involvement in various decisions, and ponder how or who can ring in a new future in 2023.

The fan base will focus on long discussions and debates about the future at the quarterback position. Just how high in the 2023 NFL Draft will the Colts pick? Which quarterback do they like the best? What are they willing to give up to go get him, should the need arise?

This is really what Sunday’s game is about for Colts fans. Winning will probably create temporary relief but will be followed by regret. This is a fan base fully embracing the reasons why losing is in the best interest of a bright future. Of course, that won’t stop every fan from watching, hoping that the Colts somehow win a game and bring a little New Year’s joy.

With the game in mind, Nick Foles will lead a broken Colts offense for a second time. Jonathan Taylor was the best offensive weapon in Indianapolis and the reigning NFL rushing king, but he has been shut down after a disappointing encore performance. The offensive line is still bad. There are some promising young pass-catchers on the roster, but no one reliable to throw to any of them.

On defense, the Colts dealt with injuries or surprises since the offseason. Safety Khari Willis retired. Linebacker Shaquille Leonard never fully recovered from off-season back surgery, so he had surgery again with hopes of getting back on the field in 2023. Defensive end Tyquan Lewis went down with a season-ending injury for the second season in a row after showing he could be a meaningful defensive contributor — for the second consecutive season. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was just placed on injured reserve to get throat surgery. Cornerback Kenny Moore has been banged up and will sit out again this week. Cornerback Isaiah Rodgers Sr. was just placed on injured reserve after showing plenty of reasons why he can be a starting outside cornerback in the NFL.

The silver lining is that young players will get a chance to play a real game against an NFL opponent who is legitimately trying to win a game. Late-season evaluations ahead of what will be a busy off-season is a good thing.

The New York Giants have been a bit of a surprise on the other side of the field this season. Saquon Barkley has looked quite a bit more like himself. Daniel Jones has done enough to win football games. It would be a nice reason to continue last night’s Big Apple celebrations to see the Giants earn a playoff berth for the first time in 2016.

Expect them to do just that.

Player props worth considering are Daniel Jones, over 33.5 rushing yards; Saquon Barkley, over 79.5 rushing yards; Zack Moss, over 60.5 rushing yards; and Graham Gano, over 1.5 field goals made.