NFL Playoff Scenarios: 10 Ways the New York Giants Still Make the Playoffs

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IDecember 20, 2010

NFL Playoff Scenarios: 10 Ways the New York Giants Still Make The Playoffs

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    Yeah, me too Eli.

    I can't describe the feeling in the pit of my stomach right now; it's like someone ripped out my insides and were laughing while they did it. The Giants' epic collapse was seen by many across the country, and Giants fans everywhere are left feeling as empty as the Giants locker room before the media was let in.

    In case you didn't know, nearly all of the players got dressed and left the stadium before having to deal with the media. Can you blame them? They just gave up 28 points with 8:17 left to go in the game in one of the worst meltdowns of our time.

    The funny thing is, the Giants have actually had worse meltdowns, like the one in the playoffs in 2002 against San Francisco.

    Luckily for the Giants, this was in the regular season and they still control their own destiny. So, with that said, here are 10 reasons the Giants still make the playoffs

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Veteran Leadership

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants celebrates sacking Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    One thing that can't be taken away from this team is the leadership of their veterans. Those leaders will not allow this game to affect the rest of their season; this is not 2009.

    Last year, the team basically quit on defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, but this year is different. Perry Fewell actually makes his players want to win for him (hard to argue that point after this last game with the Eagles, but just take my word for it).

    A crushing defeat can derail a season, but the Giants have the resolve to get past it.

Cross Town Jets Showed Them How To Bounce Back

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 19:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 19, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    If the Giants need any assurance that their season is not over, they need to look no further than their cross town rivals.

    The Jets were coming off two crushing defeats, one in which they lost 45-3 to the Patriots and another embarrassing home loss to the Dolphins. How did they respond? They beat the Steelers on the road 22-17 this afternoon.

    The Giants players realize the have two more games left and they are not done. After the game Justin Tuck said "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. We aren't dead." That's a good attitude to have, and it better reflect on the field next weekend.

Just Accept That The Eagles Are That Good

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the New York Giants during their game on December 19, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    This may be hard for most people to come to grips with considering the Giants led 31-10 with 8:17 to play, but maybe we just need to realize that Michael Vick is just that good and it is nearly impossible to contain him for 60 minutes.

    Granted, the defense did a terrible job of containment and in no way should they ever give up 28 points in eight minutes, but the Eagles offense has already shown how explosive they can be with a 28 point first quarter against the Redskins this season, so maybe it was just a matter of time before they erupted.

    The Giants can't hang their heads on this loss, no matter how crushing nor how hard it must be for them to sleep tonight. They have to come back to work on Wednesday on a mission to defeat the Packers.

    Good teams have short term memory loss when it comes to mistakes, they just have to push forward.

The Giants Play Their Best With Their Backs Against The Wall

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    When everyone is counting out the Giants is when they are at their best. No doubt that teams will be writing them off after a demoralizing loss like this, but you won't hear those same sentiments repeated by any player on the team.

    When nobody believed they would beat the team of destiny in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, they went out and shocked the world.

    When they started this season 1-2 and the media and fans were once again calling for the head of Tom Coughlin, the Giants never lost their resolve and have winning streaks of five and three games since then.

    I've learned to never count out this team, and I won't even after a loss like this.

Remember, This Is Still a Good Football Team Capable Of Beating Anyone

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 28:  Osi Umenyiora #72 of the New York Giants in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their game on November 28, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Despite that feeling at the pit of your stomach that a bunch of losers took the field today and embarrassingly gave up 28 points to lose in the fourth quarter, the Giants till have a bunch of talent and are very capable of beating anyone any given Sunday.

    I'm still confident the Giants can win out and finish 11-5, what most of us predicted before the season started anyways, and secure a playoff birth.

NFC East Is Still Up For Grabs

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 05:  Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants looks on agianst the Washington Redskins on December 5, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Redskins 31-7.  (Photo b
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Giants still have a slim chance to win the NFC East; hey like we saw earlier today crazy things can happen. If the Giants win out and the Eagles lose to the Vikings and Cowboys at home, the Giants would win the NFC East.

    So while I may be penciling in the Eagles for the division crown, it is still not mathematically over.

Wild Card Scenario 1: Beat The Packers

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    DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 12: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers leaves the field at halftime after leaving the game with a concussion while playing the Detroit Lions on December 12, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Giants still control their own destiny, despite this crushing lost to the Eagles. Plain and simple, if the Giants win their remaining two games, they are in.

    That seems easy enough, but a game with the Packers at Lambeau Field is in the way of that task. Still, it's good to know they have their fate in their own hands.

    With the Packers losing tonight, a win against the Packers would mean the Giants would finish ahead of both the Packers and Bucs due to having the tie breaker already over the Bucs based on strength of schedule.

Reason Why The Giants Beat The Packers At Lambeau: Been There, Done That

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    The Giants won't be intimidated walking on to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field for one simple reason: the last time they were there it was sub zero temperatures and a trip to the Super Bowl was on the line.

    They won't be rattled or shaken by the cold, nor the crowd.

    Not to mention, the Giants will finally be facing a quarterback who isn't exactly mobile in the pocket. I'm not going to take away anything from Aaron Rogers, but he isn't as fast as Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Tarvaris Jackson, or David Garrard.

    Rogers has been known to take off and run and is pretty quick, but they will have to worry more about his arm than his legs, which is probably refreshing after five straight games against the aforementioned guys.

Wild Card Scenario No. 2: Lose To Green Bay, But Beat Washington

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    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Rex Grossman #8 of the Washington Redskins during play against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    If the Giants lose to the Packers and beat Washington to finish 10-6, it won't be over, but a bunch of different things would have to happen for them to make it.

    Essentially, the Packers would have to then end up winning the division for it to be easy. If the Packers win the division and the Giants and Bears both finish at 10-6, then the Giants would go based on the head to head matchup. For this to happen the Bears have to lose against Minnesota tomorrow and then lose to the Packers in the final week.

    However, if the Giants lost to the Packers and the Bears won the division, then the Packers would have to finish with a 9-7 record by losing to the Bears in the final week of the season.

    The Bears clinch the division with a win over Minnesota because it would give them five division wins, and the most Green Bay can get is four even with a win over the Bears in the final week.

    At this point, we just have to assume the Bears will win the division. So what does all this mean? Just beat the Packers so you don't have to worry about it.

The "Not Fun To Think About" Scenario

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 25:  Wide receiver Steve Smith #12 of the New York Giants celebrates a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter at Cowboys Stadium on October 25, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    If the Giants lose their remaining games, the only way they could make the playoffs is if Tampa Bay loses one of their last games and the Bears lose the rest of their games.

    Seeing as how the Bears are playing the Vikings tomorrow with a rookie QB, I don't exactly see this one working out too well for the Giants, hence the title of the slide.