The New York Giants sit at 4-3, good for second place in the NFC East at the moment. The Eagles are also 4-3 and the Redskins 4-3-1. The NFC East is extremely competitive, and the Giants upcoming battle with the Eagles is important. The Cowboys lead the division at 6-1. The possible outcomes for this season for the Giants is they win the division, they win a wildcard or they miss the playoffs all together. The Giants at the moment hold a wild card spot.
Jordan Raanan of ESPN New York discussed the Cowboys win last night and what it meant for the Giants. “This puts the Giants’ goals in perspective. They’re realistically playing for a wild-card spot at this point, unless they put together an improbable run the second half of the season. It would likely take winning seven of their last nine games to even have a shot at the division.”
When you read Raanan’s piece you may not be as quick to give up on the division as he is but you have it agree the Giants best route to the playoffs is the wild card. The Cowboys are a strong team. I do think the Giants have a more talented overall team than some of the other wild card hopefuls.
The Giants Offense Needs to Explode
The Giants upcoming game against the Eagles is huge. Beating the Eagles keeps the Giants in second place and keeps them in the wild card lead. The offense must step up. Eli Manning historically plays excellent football after the bye week. Manning has 8 touchdowns through seven games. The overall stats for Manning show that he is due to throw many more touchdowns in the second half than he did In the first. Odell Beckham Jr is also likely to improve on a strong first half with an even better second half. Beckham had three touchdowns and two 100-yard games in the first 7 games for the Giants. Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard have been good but inconsistent at times for the Giants. I expect them too play better. I also expect Roger Lewis to be more involved, he had a touchdown against the Ravens. Eli Manning has the weapons to lead the offense to an explosion that we saw two weeks ago against the Ravens. The Giants have two tough games against the Eagles and Bengals but also have some very winnable games with the Bears and Browns.
Use Paul Perkins
In many of the Giants games this season they have lacked the big explosive plays. They have especially lacked those plays in the running game. Shane Vereen may still return and the Giants will be happy to have him mostly for his pass catching and pass blocking. Rashad Jennings has disappointed this season with injuries and poor play. Paul Perkins has the big play ability every time he touches the football. The Giants need to involve him more. Perkins has the ability to turn a screen pass into 65 yards or more, we saw it week 4 against the Vikings. Perkins can be a huge spark for the Giants. The Defense is For Real
Landon Collins and Eli Apple are proving they are worth their draft day price. Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have proved they are worth the contracts. The Giants pass rush can still be better but Olivier Vernon has been very tough this season. The Giants have shut down the likes of Drew Brees , Aaron Rodgers, Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant. They were responsible for the win against the Rams. If the defense continues this play and the offense makes the improvements the Giants will be a Wild Card playoff team.
Rest of Season
The state of the NFC has the Giants in a good spot to win a Wild Card. The Panthers, Cardinals and Lions look disappointing, and if the Giants can take care of business against Washington and split with the Eagles they will be feeling good. It will be hard for the Giants to win the division but it’s certainly not impossible. Two games is certainly doable. The Giants can also miss the playoffs entirely. With the state of the NFC, the tough Giants defense and an offense that can do much more than they’ve showed the Giants end the playoff drought as a Wild Card.