How Do the New York Giants Fit into the NFC Playoff Picture After Week 10?
The New York Giants have limped their way into their bye week.
After starting out 6-2, the Giants have lost their last two games, including a 31-13 beating by the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday.
Now, the Giants will spend Week 11 getting rest, players healthy and preparing for their final six weeks of games against a grueling schedule.
However, despite struggling the past two weeks, the Giants are still in first place of the NFC East division by two games in the win column.
With the Giants on their bye week, we will break down how the team fits into the NFC playoff picture after Week 10.
I will also break down their final six weeks of the season with a prediction for their regular season record as well.
The NFC East
Going into Week 10, the Giants are still in first place by two games.
They sit at 6-4 and are 2-2 in NFC East games.
The Dallas Cowboys improved to 4-5 after their Week 10 victory over the Eagles and sit in second place.
The Philadelphia Eagles are now 3-6 after losing to Dallas in Week 10, have lost five straight and are tied for last place in the NFC East.
The Washington Redskins are 3-6 and were on a bye week in Week 10, so they stay tied in last place.
The Giants have already played the Cowboys twice, but have a game against the Redskins on a Monday night in two weeks to start out December. They also play the Eagles in Week 17.
For now the Giants have control of the division, but the second half of the schedule will determine if they keep control.
The NFC North
In the NFC North, the Monsters of the Midway are in control right now after Week 10, but by a small margin.
The Detroit Lions are 4-5 and are still in the race, but their hopes of getting back to the playoffs don't look as good as they did one season ago.
With the way this division is shaping up, three teams out of the NFC North could be in the playoffs.
The NFC South
The Atlanta Falcons finally tasted defeat in 2012, with their undefeated season ending in Week 10.
The Falcons are now 8-1, but still maintain the best record in the NFC along with first place in the NFC South.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 5-4 and is another team that has shocked some people by having a strong first half.
The New Orleans Saints are 4-5 after knocking off the undefeated Falcons and winning two in a row. The Saint are slowly climbing back into the race.
The Carolina Panthers are 2-7 and are all but out of the playoff race.
Again, another division where three teams are in the thick of the chase.
The NFC West
Just like last year, the San Francisco 49ers are still in first place of the NFC West. But they aren't running away with the division in 2012.
The 49ers are 6-2-1 after tying the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
The Seattle Seahawks are 6-4 after knocking off the Jets and are a good team when they play at home (5-0, I know Packer fans, they should be 4-1.)
The Arizona Cardinals are 4-5 and were on a bye week in Week 10. They're on the outside of the playoff bubble looking in, but they are still in the mix.
The St. Louis Rams are 3-5-1 and while they are in last place, they have to feel somewhat good about not losing to the 49ers on Sunday.
I see the 49ers and Seahawks as being the two teams in this division who are legit playoff candidates.
If the Playoffs Began Today
If the playoffs began today, here's how it would go down in the NFC:
The Falcons would have the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
The Bears would have the No. 2 seed and would earn the other bye in the first round.
The San Francisco 49ers would get the No. 3 seed and at least one home game in the first round.
The New York Giants would again be the No. 4 seed and have at least one home game in the first round.
That would put the Green Bay Packers and either the Minnesota Vikings or Seattle Seahawks winning the final two Wild Card spots.
That would set up the No. 4-seeded Giants playing the No. 5-seeded Packers at MetLife Stadium in Wild Card Weekend.
It's ironic because after the bye week, the Giants play Green Bay at MetLife Stadium. If the Giants can hang on and win the NFC East, Week 12's Sunday night game on NBC could be a preview of a playoff match-up.
The Giants Second-Half Schedule
Here's the rest of the Giants 2012 regular-season schedule after the Week 11 bye:
On Nov. 25, they will play at home in a Sunday-night battle against the Green Bay Packers.
On Dec. 3, they will play a Monday-night game on the road against the Washington Redskins.
On Dec. 9, they will play at home against the New Orleans Saints.
On Dec. 16, they will play on the road against the Atlanta Falcons.
On Dec. 23, they will play on the road against the Baltimore Ravens.
On Dec. 30, they will play at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.
All of the teams mentioned are still in the playoff race one way or another through Week 10.
Of the six opponents, four of them were a playoff team from a season ago.
The other two are NFC East games that can really affect the division race, especially the Week 17 game.
Make no mistakes about it, this may be the hardest stretch of games for any team to go through in the final six weeks. But when you are the defending Super Bowl Champions, this is the schedule that comes with it.
When the 2012 season began, I predicted 12-4 for the Giants.
In order for the Giants to do that, they would have to win all six remaining games.
As much as a lot of Giants fans would love to see them run the table, I doubt that will happen given their recent struggles.
I'm going to go with 4-2, which would put the Giants at 10-6.
The way the entire NFC East is playing, 10-6 would seem to be enough to win the division, but that all depends on how the Eagles and Cowboys finish their regular season schedules out.
I still look at the Week 17 game with the Giants and Eagles and wonder if that will be a game deciding the outcome of the NFC East. Just like last year's game between the Giants and Cowboys did.
We've all seen the Giants go through their November struggles, but they usually find a way to finish strong in December.
In the end, I still see the Giants winning the NFC East and getting back to the playoffs to defend their Super Bowl title.