New York Giants Have Stranglehold on NFC East
The New York Giants gained a stranglehold on the NFC East with their 29-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday. The win upped New York’s record to 6-2 while Dallas dropped to 3-4. The Giants are the only team above .500 in the East and have a three game lead in the win column on their division rivals.
The win Sunday was important to New York, because last season they won the division with a 9-7 record. No one else in the East finished above .500. In 2010, the Giants won 10 games and finished tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for first place. The Eagles won out on tie breaks and New York did not reach the playoffs. This means that the last two seasons 10 wins was plenty to win the East.
With the Cowboys, Eagles and Washington Redskins all below .500, the Giants have gotten a huge jump on everyone. If the last two seasons are any indication of what to expect, New York probably needs to go just 4-4 the rest of the way to win the division. If they finish 10-6 everyone else would have to win at least seven of their last 10 to tie the Giants.
The Giants can still lose the division.
New York split their two games with Dallas. The Cowboys outscored the Giants by two points in their combined matchups. This means that New York will have to finish with a better record overall and in the division than Dallas. If they finish tied and the Cowboys have a better division record than Dallas would win the East.
The Giants lost their first meeting with the Eagles and defeated the Redskins to make their record 2-2 in the East. Dallas is currently 1-1. The Eagles are 1-0 having only played New York, while Washington is 0-1.
With their division slate almost done, the Giants must take care of business outside of it starting Sunday at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons all await New York as well. The second half of the Giants slate will be tougher than the first as they play six playoff teams from 2011. This makes their 6-2 first half even more important. New York may give up some ground to their division rivals in the second half.
As for now, the Giants couldn’t ask for a better start to 2012. It would have been nice to beat Philadelphia the first time, but New York will get another shot at them in the final game on December 30. The Giants could very well have the East locked up by then.
Though there is a lot of football left to play New York’s 6-2 record puts them in a position where the pressure is on their opponents. The Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins have no room for error from here on out.
For the moment, the Giants have a stranglehold on the NFC East.