We all know the situation here—the New York Giants stink in the second half of the season. It's well-documented.
Since 2004 (the beginning of the Tom Coughlin era) the Giants are 27-35 from Week 10 and on. Not very good numbers, to say the least.
What the Giants have in their back pocket is the fact that once they get in to the playoffs, they tend to catch steam. They have a ridiculous schedule the rest of the way with games against the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints and division rivals Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.
That's after coming off their bye in impressive fashion by dismantling the Green Bay Packers at home. The Giants made the hottest team in football look mediocre at best. They forced quarterback Aaron Rodgers into bad throws with their ferocious pass rush and their tight defense. With the exception of Jordy Nelson's 61-yard touchdown catch, they held the explosive Packers offense in check.
This is the latest the Giants have had a bye in a long time, and I'm going to look at some realistic results for the team's remaining five games.
Eli vs. RG3. Giants vs. Redskins. NFC East battle. Monday Night Football.
This is going to be fun.
The Redskins are coming off an impressive Thanksgiving Day win where Robert Griffin III laid the smackdown on the Dallas Cowboys. While the Cowboys made it really interesting late, Griffin did his best to put the game away early. He has thrown for four touchdown passes in consecutive games now and could be the hottest player in football.
After losing three consecutive games and scoring a total of 48 points in those three games, the Redskins have scored a total 69 points in their past two wins. When RG3 gets rolling, he is reallllly hard to slow down. And he seems to be on one those rolls right now.
Can the Giants stop him?
The Giants, on the other hand, seemed to have flipped that imaginary switch that we all know they have. Where they go from getting embarrassed by the Cincinnati Bengals to destroying the Green Bay Packers, possibly the hottest team in football.
The bye week couldn't have come at a better time for the Giants and Eli Manning's arm.
With the extra week off, Eli took some time away from football and gave his tired arm a rest. You could tell it worked because he had a bit of extra zip and touch on his passes against Green Bay. He had three touchdowns in that game when he had zero in his previous three.
The defense played shutdown football including a 4th-and-5 stand during the fourth quarter.
If the Giants show up in the nation's capital and play like they did on Sunday Night Football, then even RG3 can't stop them.
Prediction: Giants 27, Redskins 17
The Saints were riding high going into their matchup with San Francisco and seemed to be righting their ship on the road back above .500.
Then Colin Kaepernick and the 49er defense happened.
The Saints had a great chance to win this game, but two Brees pick-sixes iced any chance they had to win. After this game they have to travel to Atlanta to face the 10-1 Falcons on Thursday Night Football. They already beat Atlanta in New Orleans to end the Falcons perfect season, so it's very possible they could beat the Falcons again before their matchup with the G-Men.
The Giants get the Saints at MetLife after their matchup with the division rival Redskins.
The Giants should be 8-4 when this matchup comes around, and I'm sure the Giants will remember the beatdown Brees and Co. put on the G-Men last season.
Will the Giants defense be able to step up again and stop this high-powered Saints offense? If they play anything like the Packers game, then yes they can.
A key factor will be Kenny Phillips health. He missed seven games prior to the Packer game, but then re-injured his MCL in his return game against the Packers. If he plays it will be a big boost for the Giants.
Prediction: Giants 34, Saints 27
Both quarterbacks have a knack for late-game heroics. Especially this season for Matty Ice.
He has had to lead his Falcons back from late game deficits in at least five games this season. While no one will argue that a win is a win, these constant late-game situations will eventually turn the other way.
The Buccaneers are the only noteworthy opponent that they had to sustain a rally against. Which leads me to believe that now that they are playing the upper-echelon teams in the league—they're going to struggle.
The Giants have either lost, needed a come-from-behind win or blew out their opponent. They are the most confusing team, in my opinion. They go from almost blowing a game to the Cowboys, to blowing a game against the Steelers, to getting blown out by the Bengals to blowing out the Packers.
Will the real New York Giants please stand up?
The Giants have shown the ability to be the best team in the NFC. They have a solid offense, (even though the loss of Andrew Brown will hurt them) they have a solid defense—but a defense that can be exposed if the pass rush isn't consistent.
We all know the Falcons wide receivers are explosive and will be tough to cover, but will Ryan have enough time to get them the ball?
The Giants can pick apart a defense but will the Falcons force Eli into one of his deer-in-headlights throws?
This will be an outstanding game, but the Giants can't win 'em all. They lose a heart-breaker.
Prediction: Falcons 23, Giants 20
This is going to be a good old fashioned slobber-knocker.
Will Ray Lewis be back by now? Will the Ravens have locked up the AFC North? Will The Giants have locked up the NFC East? A lot of questions going into this Week 16 matchup, all I know is it will be a great, hard-fought game.
The Ravens have a great offense backed by quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice. The defense will always be considered a top defensive unit, but they have been exposed this season mightily.
They're 26th in opposing rushing yards allowed and 23rd in opposing passing yards allowed.
Ed Reed is older, still great but older. Ray Lewis might not be on the field. and if he is, how effective will he be? No Lardarius Webb at cornerback. Jimmy Smith might still be banged up. The injury worries are there on defense and it will be a question of whether they can stop the Giants offense.
On the Giants front, this could be the game that locks up the NFC East. It all depends on how the rest of the Redskins and Cowboys seasons turn out.
Either way the Giants know first hand that these last few games usually help fuel their playoff run. If they can roll off a few consecutive wins before the playoffs, it will help get them on track and start some momentum going into the playoffs.
They can take advantage of a weak Ravens secondary and have the ability to run the ball with Ahmad Bradshaw and change-of-pace back David Wilson.
Prediction: Giants 17, Ravens 13
Yeah, Eagles fans aren't very happy.
Will this be Andy Reid's final game as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles?
The Eagles are in the worst swoon in the tenure of Andy Reid. After beating the Giants in Philadelphia to go to 3-1, they have lost seven consecutive games and are now 3-8.
By Week 17 who knows what their record will be, or if Coach Reid will still be there.
The Giants will be looking for payback for their September 30th loss to the Eagles, as well a final tune-up heading into the playoffs. They Giants could be playing for a possible first round bye at this point if everything goes right heading into Week 17.
The Eagles have already lost DeSean Jackson for the season, they cut Pro Bowler Jason Babin and have no idea when Michael Vick will return—if at all.
Everything says the Giants will win this one handily, but when the Eagles come to town there's always some drama attached to it. It's a division game and it's against the hated Eagles. It's the last game of the season and the Eagles will be playing for pride at this point.
Never count out a team that looks to play spoiler.
But in this case, it should be a cake-walk.
Prediction: Giants 33, Eagles 10