New York Giants: Where Will They End Up in the NFC East Standings?

Reid DavenportCorrespondent IApril 9, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants runs against the Philadelphia Eagles 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

We all know that the Giants were eight minutes away from all but wrapping up the NFC East in week 15.  

Michael Vick and the Eagles came roaring back and sent the G-Men in a downward spiral, one that would end with them missing the playoffs.    

So, barring the continuation of the NFL lockout, how will the Giants fare in the 2011 division race?  

Recently, the NFC East has had its preseason clear-cut favorites, namely the Cowboys or the Eagles.  

Now, with the Cowboys coming off of an extremely disappointing season, there are many questions of what to expect from them this season.  

The Cowboys have a good shot at winning 10 games this season.  With Jason Garrett at the helm, who finished out the season 5-3, and Tony Romo back, the Cowboys are not a team to be taken lightly.  

That being said, they will not live up to the expectations that were made for them before last season.  Even with pretty much the same "stacked"' roster, I don't see them being a Super Bowl contender.  

The Eagles have more of a shot at taking the East than the Cowboys.  Their offense will continue to be explosive with Vick and LeSean McCoy.  While their defense wasn't great last season, it improved during the latter part of the year.  I can definitely see the Eagles making a Super Bowl run.  

I don't mean to write off the Skins, but they will finish last in the division.  Without a solid quarterback, no team has a shot at contending in this division.  

So where does that leave the Giants?  

The short answer is that it leaves them in a three-way race with the Cowboys and the Eagles.   

Ultimately though, I see the Giants edging out the Eagles because of the Big Blue defense.  The Giants are a couple of linebackers away from having the top defense in the NFC.

The defense has proven that they have the capability of handling Vick, and now they have the whole offseason to work on a strategy for defending him.  

If the Giants offensive plan gets more conservative, and Ahmad Bradshaw has a season similar to last year, Eli Manning will be able to exploit his stellar receiving corp much better.