Yes They Can!: New York Giants Still Have a Shot at NFC East Crown
If you asked a Giants fan on a Black Friday that was black for reasons other than retail stores getting into the black, about their team's chances to win the NFC East, they would tell you: Fugeddaboutit!!
Coming off a Thanksgiving night where the Giants played turkeys to the Broncos Pilgrims, and coming off five listless performances over the last six weeks, one would think that the G-Men could be a dead team walking when the seemingly surging Dallas Cowboys came prancing on their high horses into chilly Giants Stadium, Sunday evening.
The Giants not only beat the Cowboys 31-24, they overmatched the Boys in the big play department, and firmly planted themselves right in the middle of the NFC East race; a race that looked unlikely to involve the Giants just hours before kickoff.
The Giants, 7-5, seemingly have control of their own destiny. With two divisional games left to play (home vs. Philadelphia, @ Washington), followed by a terrible Carolina team, and a Vikings team that could be taking the week off after clinching the No. 2 seed in the NFC, the Giants could, and will have to, run the table if they have any plans of making it to the postseason.
Granted the Giants are in third place in their division, and one should be concerned about the Giants battered D, which gave up 392 yards to Tony Romo, with Jason Witten hauling in 14 passes for 156 yards, and Miles Austin catching 10 balls for 104 more and a touchdown, it is simple: if the Giants win their games they could make it.
How is this possible? Let's break it down carefully.
Giants vs. Cowboys: The Giants now own a huge tie-breaker over the Dallas Cowboys, having swept Dallas this season. This means if Big Blue should finished tied with Dallas at 11-5 or 10-6, the Giants would have the edge in capturing the division, or wild card from the Cowboys.
Keep in mind, the Cowboys face a brutal schedule down the stretch. They host a red hot San Diego team next week, will visit a Saints team that is poised to go 16-0 this year, followed by a gritty Washington team that gave Dallas all they could handle a few weeks ago, and the Eagles at home.
Considering Dallas' checkered past over the last decade, the idea that the Cowboys could go 1-3 or 0-4 in this stretch is not inconceivable. The Cowboys are inconsistent in December, 5-9 in fact under Romo since 2006. Sunday night's performance leaves little doubt that Dallas could struggle again this Christmas.
Giants vs. Eagles: If Dallas takes another swan dive in the standings it will put huge emphasis on next weekend's Giants/Eagles clash. In fact, one could argue that the winner of the game will ultimately win the division.
The Eagles have been playing extremely well of late. Even though they didn't have the services of Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson against Atlanta, the Eagles still rolled up 34 points in the blow out victory.
LeSean McCoy has done a nice job running the ball, while the combo of Jason Avant, Brent Celek, and Jeremy Maclin have served as incredible weapons for McNabb all season long.
The Eagles already beat the Giants on Nov. 1, 40-17, down in Philadelphia; but, if the Giants should win this game they would have a better division record then Philadelphia (4-1) vs. (3-2). Plus, the Giants would own a tie-breaker over Philly, having swept the Cowboys, while the Eagles lost to Dallas on Nov. 8.
The Giants have lost their last three to the Eagles, including last year's divisional playoff game, the law of averages should dictate that the Giants are due for one.
The math seems very simple, and with two teams likely to make it to the postseason from the NFC East, these games will be critical.
A home playoff game could go a long way to building up momentum for the next round to face a seemingly impossible assignment in either New Orleans and/or Minnesota.
The question is can the Giants do it? The answer is Yes.
In spite of all of the problems the Giants have had in keeping their defensive players healthy this year, i.e. Michael Boley, Aaron Ross, and Antonio Pierce to name a few; in spite of constant calls to fire new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, and consistent questioning of Kevin Gillbride's play calling, the Giants have one thing going for them: experience.
Two years ago, the Giants were struggling to just qualify for the postseason. They entered week 16 against Buffalo at 9-5 needing a win for a wild card spot; a loss and things could get really dicey.
The Giants rolled over the Bills in the snow, running Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward all over the Buffalo defense.
The Giants clinched the sixth seed, but even with that victory the skeptics questioned whether the Giants were going to be long tenants come postseason time.
The Giants came out inspired against the 15-0 Patriots the following week, and had them sweat out a 38-35 victory for New England. That game, as we all know, was the turning point in the Giants season.
They used that game as a measuring stick for what was possible, and went onto win their next four games, including a thrilling 17-14 victory against those same Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Plus this year's Giants team is eighth in total offense and eighth in points scored. Eli Manning is having a brilliant year throwing for 2,925 yards and 20 touchdowns; and this is with a mediocre running attack.
Steve Smith, who has developed into Manning's favorite target, is on pace to record more than a 1,000 yards receiving, while Mario Manningham has been a nice second option for Manning.
Defensively, the pieces are there. They still have Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Fred Robbins to create pressure. The defense will have to play a lot better if the Giants are to win the NFC East, but the talent is definitely there.
Anything can happen. It's a long season for a reason.
Perhaps Eli Manning's desperate flip to Kevin Boss, who just so happened to be standing in the backfield, and turned a negative play into a 16 yard gain, was this year's "Helmet Catch"?
Perhaps the 2009 NFC East champions were born when Giants Stadium roared with approval as Big Blue built up a 31-17 lead late in the fourth quarter?
You never know, and if you ask these Giants, they would agree; but they would rather play a game or two at rabid and cold Giants Stadium this time around.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?