New York Giants: NFL's Biggest Pretenders

Andrew GlennContributor IDecember 22, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 13:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is sacked by a member of 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

In a playoff desperation game, the Giants showed up showing power running, proficient passing and focused defense in a dominant game against the Washington Redskins during Monday Night Football, powering the defenseless, offensively-challenged 'Skins 45-12.

The Giants kept their postseason hopes alive on Monday night scoring six of its first seven possessions and controlled every aspect of the game. Offensively, Eli Manning torched the Washington defense completing 19 of 26 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns while Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for two TDs.

The Giants are now one game behind Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers in the fight for the wildcard spots. The Cowboys control their own destiny. A win and Giant loss on Sunday can clinch their playoff spot.

The Cowboys, who are riding high after defeating the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints battle the beaten up Washington Redskins in the FedEx Field on Sunday as the Giants attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive at home against the Carolina Panthers.

The 2009-10 season has been a rollercoaster ride for the Giants. From the suspension of Plaxico Burress to the 5-0 start to the losing the next four games, it raises a lot of questions about the New York Giants. As we come to the closing of the season only one questions comes in mind:

Are the Giants contenders or pretenders?

Let's face it, the Giants are exactly who we thought they were (thanks to Dennis Green). With a 8-6 record, the Giants defeated the Redskins (twice), Cowboys (twice), Buccaneers, Chiefs, Raiders, and Falcons. Four of the six teams are likely to get a top 10 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Looking on the other side of the record, the Giants 6 losses came from the Saints, Cardinals, Eagles (twice), Chargers and Broncos, all playoff potentials.

Whether you argue the loss of Plax, or the numerous injuries, or the strength of schedule (10th hardest), the Giants prove that they are the biggest pretenders this season. They obviously beat up the weaker teams and get beat up by the "real teams."

The Giants have the opportunity to either prove me right or wrong. Their final two opponents are the Panthers 6-8 and the Vikings 11-3. One under .500 and another over .500.

If the Giants do make the playoffs, being the lower seed, they would mostly likely play the Eagles in a wild-card game in Philadelphia. The biggest question is which team will show up: the dangerous team that demolishes under .500 teams or the team that can not show up against over .500 teams. Until then, stay tuned football fans.

By the way...

On November 10, 2008, I wrote an article called From Big Ben to Worthlessburger   highlighting Pitsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's struggle with injuries during the 2008-09 season questioning whether he should play injured.

Ironically, Roethlisberger won the Super Bowl the same year. So looking back on my rants, I want to apologize to the Steelers and Steelers fan. Hopefully I will not make the same mistake with this article.