New York Giants: A Team In Prime Playoff Position Despite Recent Struggles

Aaron LiebmanAnalyst IDecember 16, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 13:  Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants talks with field judge Scott Edwards about a play against the Philadelphia Eagles at Giants Stadium on December 13, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Okay, so they won't win the division which means the last game at Giants Stadium WILL be the last scheduled game against Carolina on December 27. And yes, right now the G-men are on the outside looking in. But the sweep of division rival Dallas will be the key to them returning to the playoffs for a fifth straight year.

The Dallas Cowboys play the Saints this week in New Orleans, which almost guarantees a loss right there. If the Giants win there last three and if Dallas loses just one game, the Giants will qualify.

Now of course, the Giants have to do their part. If they don't take care of their own business, none of these tiebreakers mean a thing. But look at their schedule. They travel to Washington to play the suddenly pass happy Washington Redskins. But the Giants haven't lost a game in Washington since 2005 Jason Campbell will hit reality soon.

After that is the Carolina Panthers who seem to have problem playing no matter who is their starting quarterback. And finally they travel to Minnesota, who at that point may have already clinched everything they can and rest their starters (ironically, it was the exact other way around last season).

If they do win out, that will put the Giants at 10-6, the exact record during their Super Bowl season two years ago. And also that season not only did they not win the division, but they were swept by the division winning team (that season it was Dallas). So if Philly does clinch the division, there's something to look for.

Now the Green Bay Packers pretty much have laid claim to the first wild card spot. Besides the Cowboys, the only real competitor is Atlanta, whom the Giants already beat. Although Giants Stadium may not see another game in January, the Giants just might.