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New York Giants Road to the Playoffs: Games to Keep Your Eye On

December 8, 2012

This week, I’ve done my absolute best to remain optimistic about the Giants playoff chances.  Their schedule is daunting and their opponents formidable, and, yet, I am confident.  If the Giants play their best, then there is no team that they can’t beat.

If you want to remain in a strictly positive frame of mind, check out what I wrote for Her Game Life: Four Reasons Why New York Giants Can Win Final Four Games.

However, if you’re not afraid of taking a more realistic approach to what lies ahead for the Giants, then continue reading.  I’m ready, I think.  Are you?

The Goal

The division.  The Wild Card is much more complicated and less likely.  We can cross that bridge if and when we get there, but for now let’s focus on winning the NFC East.

The Best Case Scenario

The Giants win their last four games.  Case closed.  Division Champs.  They would probably be the fourth seed, which is perfect—no bye week and mostly road games.

If that doesn’t happen, then for every Giants loss we would need a Cowboys loss and a Redskins loss, in order to maintain the lead. Our schedule, out of the three, is by far the most difficult, but let’s take a closer look.  Shall we?

WEEK 14Before the Giants and Saints get underway, we will know the outcome of the Dallas and Washington games.   I’m more worried that they will both lose, which would let the Giants off the hook.  We’d probably be better off if one of them won, but we’ll take what we can get and hope the Giants can use their humiliating loss to the Saints last season as motivation.

Looking ahead, if we want our games against Atlanta and Baltimore to be as meaningless as possible, for them (I’m not a hundred percent sure that is what we want, but I’ll get there in a minute), then losses (and even ties in some cases) by the Bears, Packers and 49ers all help Atlanta secure the top seed and home field advantage.

The Ravens clinch the AFC North if they beat the Redskins, which is good for us anyway, and if Cincinnati and Pittsburg lose.  The Cowboys are playing the Bengals, so there is a bit of a silver lining if Dallas wins.

Roethlisberger and the Steelers probably won’t have too much trouble with Rivers and the Chargers though.  Plus, the Steelers play the Cowboys the following week.  We can’t worry about where the Ravens stand.  It would mean having to root for the Cowboys two weeks in a row, and that is too high of a price to pay.

Our game in Baltimore is going to mean something, for both teams, and maybe that’s what we want anyway.  The less reasons the Giants have not to gear up for a game the better.  The tougher the opponent the better.

 

WEEK 15The Falcons don’t scare me.  First of all, they may rest their starters, but I hope they won’t and don’t think they will.  They want payback, but like the 49ers and Packers who tried before them, I don’t think they’ll find any redemption against the Giants.

The Steelers could do us a favor, by taking out Romo and the Cowboys, although, I’m not betting on the Browns being help to us against the Redskins.

 

 

WEEK 16This week could be for all the marbles.

We’ll find ourselves rooting for two of the opponents that we face in this four-week stretch—the Eagles and Saints—to beat the Redskins and Cowboys, respectively.  This could actually happen. Out of all the weeks, this is our best chance to gain ground on both teams.

And, unless one of the games gets bumped to Sunday night (please, please, please let it be our game), then they’re all on at the same time.

Ray Lewis or no Ray Lewis, the Giants can win this game.  It helps that the wounds from our loss to the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV have long since healed, because we are not playing to avenge thirty-five.  We are playing to have a shot at forty-seven.

 

WEEK 17It’s a NFC East showdown, and the prize could easily be the division.  How the Eagles and Nick Foles have played up until this point may have a huge impact.

Will they be reinvigorated with nothing to lose or dejected with nothing to lose?  Forget everything I said before about the Giants needing motivation.   They should have plenty, and my nerves are going to be shot by this point.  I hope the Eagles can barely muster the strength to put on their uniforms.

Whether we are simultaneously rooting for the Redskins or the Cowboys will also depend on what happens over the next three weeks.  The Cowboys have the more difficult schedule and Tony Romo.  The Redskins have a slightly easier schedule and Robert Griffin III.  I’m thinking we’ll be rooting for the Cowboys.  Ugh!  If only they could both lose.

On the other hand, all these games could be meaningless, although I doubt it.

The Giants could win all four.  They could also lose all four.  The magic number is four.  Four wins and we’re in.

Or:

3 Wins and 1 Cowboys/Redskins Loss

2 Wins and 2 Cowboys/Redskins Losses

1Win and 3 Cowboys/Redskins Losses

I think the Giants should stick with the four wins.  It is so much neater and, perhaps, even simpler.

What do you think?  Four weeks from now, will we be sitting pretty or crying into our egg nog?

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