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Despite Humiliating Loss, New York Giants Still Control Their Playoff Fate

December 17th, 2012 at 7:30 AM
By Dan Benton

After starting the season 6-2, the New York Giants now find themselves at 8-6 and essentially third in the NFC East. Yet, despite their 2-4 slide over the last six games, the team still, unbelievably, controls their playoff destiny.

'New York Giants Huddle Up' photo (c) 2012, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"[Our fate is] in our hands in the fact that we have two games left and we have to win those two games," Eli Manning said. "Whatever else happens after that, we don't know and can't control, but we can control these next two games. We know we need to win these two."

Coming out of the bye week, head coach Tom Coughlin and cornerback Antrel Rolle said it was a "six-game season" and they needed to win all six. Four games in and they're 2-2 with two games remaining. So, essentially, it becomes a two-game season for the Giants, who now legitimately need to win every remaining game or be sent home for the year.

Because the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins play in the final week of the regular season, it gives the Giants an automatic game (or half-game in the event of a tie) on one of the two. So regardless of their divisional and conference records, a tie-breaker wouldn't be needed if Big Blue wins out.

As it currently sits, the Giants are in the 9th spot in the NFC because they lose tiebreakers with both NFC East teams based on division records, but would hold tie-breaker edges in the wildcard because of a better conference mark. And both of those marks would be improved upon with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in week 17, catapulting them up to at least the sixth and final spot in the NFC playoff race after the Redskins/Cowboys game goes final.

Of course, if they win out and both the Cowboys and Redskins lose at least one game each (and, again, one of them is guaranteed to lose or tie at least one more game), they would win the NFC East.

Ahhh, the complex nature of the NFL Playoff system when tie-breakers are introduced. It's so complex, in fact, that the Giants could technically lose against the Baltimore Ravens and still not only make the playoffs, but win the division … however, that's entirely too difficult to explain as they would need a wide range of crazy things to happen.

If you're still having a difficult time understanding it, be sure to check out the Yahoo! Sports Playoff Generator to see for yourself.

Also…

Tags: Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, Washington Redskins

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20 Responses to “Despite Humiliating Loss, New York Giants Still Control Their Playoff Fate”

  1.  Dirt says:

    The Giants would never hold tie breaker edges in the Wild Card over Dallas or Washington because division tie breaker is used first in weeding out all but oam from each division for any Wild Card spot.

  2.  Dirt says:

    The Giants would never hold tie breaker edges in the Wild Card over Dallas or Washington because division tie breaker is used first in weeding out all but one team from each division for any Wild Card spot.

    •  Dirt says:

      Hence why Dallas is currently 8th and New York is currently 9th in the playoff standings, despite New York’s better conference record.

      •  James Stoll says:

        Isn’t the point that if we win out we are the WC because one of Washington/Dallas will have 7 L’s. As for the division our only path is a Week 17 tie between our 2 nemeses

  3.  cjhildy76 says:

    Dirt the Giants do not need the tiebreakers over Dallas or Washington for a wildcard if the Giants win out.

    Giants would be 10-6 and Dallas and Washington play each other so only one could be 10-6 and the other 9-7. The Giants would then beat out Minnesota and Chicago because of conference record.

    •  James Stoll says:

      With SF winning last night Seattle no longer has a shot at the division. If they lose to SF next week they likely finish 10-6 and I think we’d have the tie breaker over them as well

    •  Dirt says:

      I understand precisely what the Giants need to make the playoffs. However, it is incorrect that conference record trumps division ranking between two divisional opponents tied for a Wild Card spot.

      •  Dirt says:

        Also, given the recent run, it’s important to consider what happens if they DON’T finoish 10-6. And if they finish 9-7 and tied with one of Dallas or Washington that doesn’t win the division (for example, Was wins the East at 10-6 and NYG and Dal are 9-7), the NYG will be BEHIND Dallas in every Wild Card tiebreaker, despite having a better conference record.

        Hence why they’re behind them in the standings today. And way down at 9th, because Dallas’s conference record blows.

  4.  BigBlueScorpion says:

    That game is complete embarrassment. They didn’t even bother showing up Definitely worst and seen in a long time :(

  5.  Krow says:

    We’ve been controlling our fate for weeks now … only to falter one after the other. Now we’re banking on a two game win streak to secure us the last wildcard slot.

    I want us to make the playoffs. It’s embarrassing for the defending champs to go down without a fight. But I’m not kidding myself … we’re not one of the top teams. We’re not scaring anyone on either side of the ball.

    •  James Stoll says:

      Well, to be honest, we never scare anyone. We are always 10-6, 9-7, and a low seed playing on the road. That’s why the good teams go crazy when we beat them in the playoffs-they no we’re no good

  6.  Krow says:

    Watching the games on TV you can’t see the coverages unfolding. But today on the ride to work the talking radio heads were saying that Eli appeared confused by the Falcons’ scheme. That he had open receivers, but didn’t throw them the ball. I’ve no way of knowing if this is true or not. Just putting it out there.

  7.  James Stoll says:

    The good news is that starting next year the NFL may expand the playoffs to a 16 team format which will make the 8-8 Giants a parental playoff team

  8.  Begiant says:

    I wish I was wrong in predicting Hosely would have a ton of trouble. I really like the kid and expect him to improve a lot over the offseason. However he was in no way ready for Julio Jones (or Harry Douglas) and Matt Ryan. Unfortunately for us, few QBs are.

    •  James Stoll says:

      Prince was a big miss yesterday. But we got whipped in every phase of the game so it didn’t really matter

  9.  Begiant says:

    Dan, If we ended with the same record as the Vikings, Bears or Seahawks would the tiebreaker be conference record or divisional record? I see you said “with both NFC East teams based on division records, but would hold tie-breaker edges in the wildcard because of a better conference mark.” however I think that meant against the Skins and Cowboys and not teams outside of the division.

  10.  Krow says:

    We’ve never needed Frank more than we do now. He could put this all in perspective.

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