With the New York Giants just one game ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins for the NFC East, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin made it no secret about what the Giants need to do. The Giants have four games remaining, and they have a good chance of going at least 2-2 in these final four games.
“We have to win literally every one of our games,” Coughlin told reporters. The Giants have two tough road games against the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons. Coughlin, however, knows his team is capable of going into Baltimore and Atlanta and coming out with a victory.
There’s no margin for error now that the Giants only hold a one-game lead. The Cowboys, even though they appear to be struggling, have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way. The Redskins play the Ravens at home next weekend, but after that their schedule isn’t difficult at all.
If the Giants win out, they lock up the division with an 11-5 record, and they might be able to get a first-round bye depending on how the rest of NFC shakes up. If the Giants go 3-1, that will put them at 10-6 and in good position to win the division as well. In order for the Redskins and Cowboys to have any chance, they’ll have to win out if the Giants go 3-1.
Coughlin and the Giants can’t take that chance of expecting the Cowboys and Redskins to lose at least one game. They control their destiny at the moment, so they need to take care of business. While many people are saying the Giants have been here before and have performed at their best, some people fail to realize the script was flipped in 2010.
In the Giants’ final home game in the 2010 season, they had a chance to control their destiny in the division. They led the Philadelphia Eagles 31-10 with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, only to see the Eagles come back and win 38-31. Both teams finished 10-6, but because of the sweep from the Eagles, they won the division and the Giants were left out of the playoffs.
History goes both ways, so relying on history and not taking things one play and one game at a time can screw the Giants over. Now is the time for the Giants to buckle down and start playing winning football. The New Orleans Saints, their next opponent, is no small task either. They need to start playing these games like it’s the playoffs. If they don’t, they won’t be seeing the playoffs.