In a season full of surprises (Chiefs 7-0, Texans 2-5, Jets 4-3), the New York Giants, Super Bowl Champions just two years ago, getting their first win of the year last night 23-7 over the hapless Minnesota Vikings in Week 7 may be the biggest shock. This puts the Giants at 1-6, a record that would have them all but knocked out of a playoff chance in any other division. However, in the NFC East, the Giants are just three games out, and given that 9-7 looks to be great to win this division, it’s might not be the best move to count out the G-Men just yet. Follow me here.
Is it likely that the Giants will get to 8-8 and have a shot at the division? No. Is there anything to really hang your hat on to make you believe the Giants are capable of such a run? No. Is it POSSIBLE that they will make such a run” Absolutely. If NFL betting is your thing, it couldn’t hurt to throw a friendly $5 ball on the Giants, who are going off at 300-1 after seven weeks. Let’s take a look at the next few weeks for the G-Men.
Next week, the New York Giants travel to Philly to take on the Eagles. There, they will face off against either a one-legged Michael Vick, a banged up Nick Foles, or Matt Barkley, who tossed three INT’s in a no-win situation against the Cowboys on Sunday. This game is far from a lock, but I like the Giants chances in this one. Then, the Giants have a bye, before starting a three game stretch at home by welcoming the Oakland Raiders. In other words, not only is it possible that New York will be 3-6, it seems more likely than do then don’t.
Than comes the big game: a gut check, likely must win game at home against a team that they have owned in recent years: the Green Bay Packers. The Pack will be without Randall Cobb, and likely Jermichael Finley, who is nursing a scary looking neck injury. I won’t try to argue that the Giants, who have look downright anemic at times this year, will win this game. But even if they do lose it, at 3-7, there’s a good chance the Cowboys, who they will play the week after, will be 5-5 at the time, with games at Detroit and at New Orleans coming up. If they can beat Dallas there, they could easily be one game behind the Boys, and if they pull off the upset against Green Bay, that game could decide the division leader.
Assuming the Eagles lose to the Giants next week, they will likely split against Oakland and Green Bay putting them into a must win game at home against Washington in Week 11. Looking at their schedule, they certainly look to cap at 8-8 and given their questions are QB, 6-10 or 7-9 seems like the most likely record, one that would “hopefully” knock them out of the division race.
Looking at Washington, they will lose at Denver next week, before playing three winnable games vs. San Diego, at Minnesota, and at Philly. However, they close the season out with two games against the Giants, vs. KC, at Atlanta, and vs. Dallas. If we are assuming that the Giants will be on a winning streak coming into those games, the Skins also look to be capping at 8-8 at best.
Dallas is the clear favorite in the division, but their remaining schedule isn’t the easiest. We’ve already pegged them at 5-5 in three weeks. After their road game against New York, they have home games against Oakland, Green Bay, and Philly, and road games at Chicago and at Washington. Not the toughest schedule to close out on, but one that the Cowboys will likely go 3-2. I will give the Cowboys a 10-6 ceiling, but 8-8 seems like a more realistic outcome. The big thing the Boys have going for them is their 3-0 division record, and 4-1 against the NFC, the two main tiebreakers after head-to-head.
Finally, we return to the Giants. If we have them losing to the Packers, and beating the Cowboys, they are at 4-7. They will then have two winnable games at Washington and San Diego, before hosting the Seahawks. If we give the Giants another loss there, they will have to win out at Detroit and vs. Washington. Again, that will be tough, but it is not inconceivable.
3-6 is the magic number for Giants fans. That is the record you NEED to have going into what could turn out to be a huge game at home against Green Bay. I’ve said about this very Giants team just two years ago that when they are playing their best, they can beat anyone in the league. I may not believe that this year, but I certainly think they still have a shot to win the division if they play to their potential. Again, I’m not saying it will happen, as the Giants have just been awful at times this year, but let’s not forget that New York was 40 yards from beating the Bears in Chicago last week. Given some of the craziness of this season, wouldn’t it seem fitting to have a late Giants playoff run after so many seasons of coughing up late division leads?
What do you guys think of our theory? Do the Giants have any hope of getting to 8-8? Let us know in the comments!