EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- This Sunday is a game the New York Giants can't seem to lose.
If they win on the road (1 p.m. ET, CBS) against the Chicago Bears (5-10), it will be their first taste of victory since Thanksgiving weekend, when quarterback Daniel Jones hurt his neck but finished off a win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Winning Sunday also would not negatively impact their draft position too much.
That is because the Giants (4-11) own the Bears' first-round pick, the result of a draft-day trade in 2021 that saw Chicago move up to select quarterback Justin Fields 11th overall. The Giants took receiver Kadarius Toney at No. 20 after the trade back. At this point, you can call the deal a potential win-win for both franchises, even though they are stumbling through this season.
It puts the Giants in good shape come April. ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) projects New York to land the No. 5 and No. 7 picks in next year's draft. The Giants' selection has a 47.3% chance of being in the top five, and both picks are all but locks to be in the top 10.
If the Bears lose on Sunday, their first-round pick could vault back into the top five, ahead of New York's own selection. If the Bears win, their pick would likely remain around No. 8 entering the season's final week.
If the Giants do drop their fifth straight on Sunday in Chicago, it's possible -- though highly unlikely -- they can get up to pick No. 3 overall. Jacksonville (2-13) and Detroit (2-12-1) are projected to land the top two picks. The Giants are tied with the Houston Texans (4-11) and New York Jets (4-11) for the next three slots, but are behind them in the draft order because of a more difficult strength of schedule.
Not that any of the players or coaches are looking at these scenarios. They have their futures and pride at stake.
"It just comes down to your perspective on this game," said tight end Evan Engram, a free agent after this season. "We have limited number of opportunities to play this game, especially at this level. How [do] you want to approach it -- you want to take it for granted or you want to make the most of it?
"There's a lot of football plays in these last two games, and that means that's a lot of opportunity."
It's not to say the Giants aren't feeling some frustration. Their 34-10 loss to the Eagles in Week 16 was the latest lowlight in a season full of them.
"Obviously, this is not a situation that we work for and that we wish for," Engram said.
Coach Joe Judge demands an approach that keeps the focus on the task ahead, which has seemingly kept the team from splintering through tough times. Players have insisted they have the right kind of guys in the building in terms of character and love for the game. They are not going to throw their hands in the air and surrender with two games remaining, no matter the lack of playoff implications.
"In terms of the flow of the season, no, you've got to show up and go to work all the time," Judge said. "That's what we preach to our players, but you've got to really go ahead and walk that walk. You can't just tell the players they have to show up and do that."
This week in Chicago, with little more than draft pick positioning and pride at stake, will be the latest test of whether Judge's message is getting through.