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What Needs To Happen For The Giants To Sneak Into The Playoffs

December 13, 2018 - 4:58 pm
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NEW YORK (WFAN) -- The Giants were eliminated from contention for the NFC East title when the Cowboys beat the Eagles in Week 14, but all hope for the postseason is not yet lost.

Pat Shurmur’s team did its job by blowing out a short-handed Washington Redskins team Sunday. Thus, there is still a tiny chance that the 5-8 Giants can make the playoffs as the second wild-card team.

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It would be a minor miracle, but it wouldn’t be the craziest thing to ever happen in this sport. All the teams fighting for that sixth spot in the NFC are flawed. Still, the odds are not in the Giants’ favor.

Here’s the entire scenario of how the Giants could somehow reach the NFL playoffs. All six of these things need to happen for New York to achieve the unthinkable.

  • The Giants have to win their remaining three games (vs. Titans, at Colts, vs. Cowboys)

None of those teams are pushovers, but the Cowboys may not have much to play for in Week 17 if their seeding is already locked up. The Titans and Colts are both pushing for the last spot in the AFC, but if the Giants stay hot, they at least have a fighting chance to win out. 

  • The Packers have to lose one of their remaining three games (at Bears, at Jets, vs. Lions)

This one is definitely doable. The Packers have struggled so heavily this season that they fired head coach Mike McCarthy at the beginning of the month. They are also long shots for the postseason, but they aren't playing as well as the Giants are. 

  • The Eagles have to lose two of their remaining three games (at Rams, vs. Texans, at Redskins)

It has been a rough season in Philadelphia. The Eagles are still alive, but with quarterback Carson Wentz possibly out for the rest of the season, they don’t look likely to beat the Rams or Texans.

  • The Redskins have to lose two of their remaining three games (at Jaguars, at Titans, vs. Eagles)

The Redskins looked helpless against the Giants last weekend without Alex Smith at QB, but they could get revenge on New York by beating a bad Jaguars team and surprising either Tennessee or Philly.

  • The Panthers have to lose two of their remaining three games (vs. Saints, vs. Falcons, at Saints)

Ron Rivera’s team has lost five games in a row, and they still have to play New Orleans twice. The Panthers need to bounce back ASAP to get into the postseason.

  • The Vikings have to lose two of their three remaining games (vs. Dolphins, at Lions, vs. Bears)

This might be the one that seals the Giants’ fate. The Lions are bad, and then Minnesota has home-field advantage for games with an inconsistent Dolphins team and a Bears squad that might not have anything to play for in Week 17. If the season ended today, the Vikings would be the last team in. The only difference between them and the three teams at 6-7 is their 29-29 tie against the Packers from back in September.

A lot has to happen for the Giants to get in, but don't tell the team that. The players themselves have been rejuvenated by winning four of their last five games, and they seem to be utilizing that same mindset as they try to win again in Week 15. 

The Titans will represent a step up in quality from the Giants' previous opponents. The Titans are one of four 7-6 teams in the AFC who are vying for the final playoff spot. Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota has dealt with injuries this season, but he's now healthy and eager to lead his team into the postseason. Mariota has completed 69 percent of his passes this season for 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. 

If the Giants can't beat the Titans, then none of this will matter. They will have eliminated themselves from playoff contention. If New York can get a victory and things elsewhere go their way, then they may just live to keep their season alive for another day.