Maybe the New York Giants are setting themselves up for a spectacular run into the playoffs and a third Super Bowl in six years. Or maybe—just maybe—this team is in trouble.
NFC wild-card spots are hard to come by, especially for members of the NFC East. The division-leading Giants (7-5) are the only team in its division above .500 in a conference where being .500 puts you on the outside looking into the playoff picture.
Winning the division is not only the preferred method of playoff entry for the Giants, but likely the only way they can get into the postseason. That does not bode well for the only team in the race that has lost against all three of its division opponents.
That includes the floundering Philadelphia Eagles (3-9), who beat New York in Week 4 when the common perception of Philadelphia was still favorable. The Washington Redskins have only played Philly once, while the Dallas Cowboys already completed their season sweep of the Eagles.
The road to the postseason for New York goes through Atlanta and Baltimore in Weeks 15 and 16.
They also draw the New Orleans Saints (Week 14) and the new-look Eagles (Week 17) at home. If it comes down to the last week of the season, New York can be trusted to take care of business against a rookie quarterback in Nick Foles.
But it has to get there first.
Washington’s final quarter of the season contains two road matchups against teams with a combined seven wins. Its tougher two matchups—the 9-3 Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 and the 6-6 Cowboys in Week 17—are at home.
The Giants’ schedule is the opposite: New York’s remaining home opponents are a combined 8-16 while its road foes are 20-4.