The New York Giants have seized control of their NFC East lead, now tied with the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. The Redskins and Cowboys own the tiebreakers over the Giants so the Giants are currently third in the division. So how can the Giants get in the playoffs? It’s an easy proposition. Win!
At 8-6, the Giants currently have the same record as the Redskins, Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. If all four teams finished at 10-6, the Giants will be left out of the playoffs. They were left out of the playoffs in 2010 with a 10-6 record as well. Here’s how the Giants will get this done:
The Giants will need to win their two remaining games to finish at 10-6. They play on the road against the Baltimore Ravens next week and then finish off at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Ravens have struggled, losing three straight so the Giants can and should win this game.
The Eagles have not played well all year, but this could be a trap game. Eagles QB Nick Foles has shown flashes of brilliance so the secondary must play well in order to win. This game is also a game the Giants can and should win. This puts them at 10-6.
If the Redskins and Cowboys both finish at 10-6, that would eliminate the Giants. However, the Redskins play the Cowboys the final game of the season, so one of them will end up with seven losses at best. That would put one of them behind the Giants, which will virtually eliminate whoever that team is.
The Giants can only win the division if both the Cowboys and Redskins finish 9-7 or worse and the Giants win the final two. However, the Giants control their destiny for the Wild Card. The Giants own tiebreakers over the Vikings and the Bears. Both teams have five conference losses while the Giants only have four. If the Vikings, Bears and Giants end up at 10-6, the Giants will head to the postseason.
The Giants may not have to worry about the Vikings at all. The final two games for the Vikings are against the Houston Texans and the Green Bay Packers. Those figure to be two games the Vikings will definitely lose, unless both teams rest their starters with nothing to play for. The Texans still want to wrap up their #1 seed next week. The Packers may be playing for positioning the final weekend as well.
The Bears have two games they should win, against the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions. Like I mentioned before, the Bears will need help from the Giants in order to get in as the final Wild Card team. The Cowboys and Redskins are only playing for the division, which is the best thing that’s happening for the Giants at this point. Seven losses most likely won’t get a team into the playoffs, so the loser of that Cowboys-Redskins Week 17 match-up is out of luck.
Whatever adjustments need to be made should be made now. The Giants start their post-season next week. It is time to win.