NFL Rankings: Playoff Outlook for the New York Giants

Jim MancariCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 05:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants throws a pass against the Washington Redskins on December 5, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

12 games down, four to go.

The Giants sit tied atop the NFC East heading into the final quarter of the season. At 8-4, it would appear the Giants have a great chance at making the playoffs, but let’s see what could happen over the last few weeks to ensure this.

The remaining schedule isn’t exactly a walk in the park. The Giants travel to Minnesota this upcoming week to take on a mysterious Vikings squad. They could present a tough challenge at home—remember Week 17 last year?

I predict the Giants will squeak by with the win.

Then comes the biggest match-up of the season. Assuming Philadelphia defeats the Cowboys in Dallas (could be a tough task), the top two NFC East teams will meet in the Meadowlands for control atop the division.

The Eagles already beat the Giants this year, making it more important for the Giants to show they can contain Vick. This could be a preview of some playoff football.

Give me Big Blue in this game.

The Giants will then travel to Lambeau Field in Green Bay to take on the Packers. Beating Green Bay at home is very difficult. It can be done (Lawrence Tynes in OT in 2008), but I think the Packers get this win.

Finally, the Giants head to Washington to battle the Redskins on the final week of the season. The Redskins have been known to play spoiler, and depending on the playoff situation, the Giants may have the luxury of resting their starters.

Even so, I’ll pick the Giants in this one.

So a 3-1 over the final four games puts the Giants at 11-5. The Eagles play the Cowboys twice over the final four weeks, as well as the Giants and Vikings. If they go 2-2 and the Giants go 3-1, the Giants win the NFC East. If both teams go 2-2 but the Eagles beat the Giants, the Eagles win the division.

Then it would come down to a wild card berth.

As of now, seven teams in the NFC are battling for five spots. The NFC West will have their winner so that is the final spot.

Chicago is a game in front of Green Bay, while Atlanta in a game ahead of New Orleans. Even Tampa Bay at 7-5 has a shot.

Looking at it a different way, four teams will be battling for two wild card spots. The Giants may find themselves in that position.

It is imperative for the Giants to keep on winning. It doesn’t matter if they get an ugly win like the one against Jacksonville or a dominant win like the one against Washington.

A win is a win in the NFL, and the Giants must continue this streak.

11-5 should lock up a playoff berth.

10-6 on the other hand might bring about some scoreboard watching.

9-7 most likely would not cut it.

The game against the Eagles might be the make-or-break for this Giants squad.

A big win could prove to the NFC that Big Blue means business.