New York Giants Playoff Scenarios: What Must Happen Now?

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IDecember 16, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 16:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants walks off the field after their 34-0 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As has become an annual occurrence, the New York Giants have set themselves up for quite the drama-filled holiday season. 

After thoroughly manhandling the New Orleans Saints in Week 14, many believed the G-Men were finally hitting their late regular season stride. 

Then, they took the field against the Atlanta Falcons and set themselves back in a major way, losing 34-0. 

Looking ahead, what must happen for Tom Coughlin's club over the last two weeks of the season?

Let's presume they'll have to win the final two games against the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles to make the playoffs—that will make things less confusing. 

(If the Giants win out, they're guaranteed at least a wild-card spot.)

The Washington Redskins, a team that's 8-6 after a win over Cleveland Browns, has jumped ahead of the Giants due to a 3-1 record in division games compared to New York's record of 2-3 against NFC East teams. 

They will need help from the Redskins to have a chance to win the division. The G-Men no longer control their destiny in that regard because Mike Shanahan's team has a better division record and holds a one-game lead in common games, which is the next tiebreaker.

If the Dallas Cowboys win out, they'll be NFC East champs.

With the 8-6 Cowboys and Redskins facing off in the season finale, the Giants can breathe a little easier, as one of those teams will finish with seven losses, and the loser will more than likely be eliminated from playoff contention.

Still, there is much to be decided in the NFC wild-card race and, frankly, in the NFC East.