The Giants are reeling at 6-4, and battling a plague of injuries not seen since, oh, 2008. But the season is far from over, and the simple explanation is that a win on this weekend puts us back in a strong position. Here's how...
Obviously it's all dependent on the Giants winning. They don't have to win the rest of their games, and while it would delight me to no end, I don't think it will happen. But 10-6 has an overwhelming likelihood of making the playoffs, and it starts this week. A loss doesn't eliminate them entirely, and I'll keep believing until it's mathematically impossible, but please keep in mind I'm writing this with the belief that the Giants win on Sunday:
Game 1 Eagles vs Bears- The most important non-Giants game for obvious reasons, and one where we are guaranteed a positive result. If the Eagles win, the Bears are 7-4 and the Giants have the tiebreaker with the Bears. They have leapt back into a playoff spot with one stroke. If the Bears win, then we are back to being tied with the Eagles. Technically they are ahead, but we see them again in the New Meadowlands. Like I said, win-win.
Game 2- Packers vs Falcons- A Falcons win puts them in the driver's seat for a #1 seed, depending on the outcome of the Eagles game. At worst they're the 2. But more importantly, it drops GB into a tie with the Giants, with a game to be played. A GB win keeps them ahead of the Giants, but drops the Falcons back into the scrum, and maybe disrupts that important home momentum they have rolling.
Game 3- Bucs vs Ravens- Somehow the Bucs keep rolling. I like the team, I like the young players (esp. Mike Williams from the 'Cuse), I even like the coach. But they have somehow kept rolling, and now they are seriously competing for a playoff spot. The cuteness is over. A win here would be the biggest win for this franchise in 4 years. It would give them untold confidence, and they could ride it into a playoff berth and possibly a win over the crappy NFC West team. However, the important thing about the Bucs is that they have not beaten a team with a winning record. Nary a one. So they should be spanked in this game, and fall back into a tie with the Giants (and maybe get some self-doubt).
Game 4- Saints vs Cowboys- A Cowboys win actually helps the Giants out immensely by dropping the Saints back into a tie. But a Cowboys loss is a priceless gift that keeps on giving. The angst of the Cowboys' faithful as their last ember of hope is extinguished, would be the greatest gift of schadenfreude a man could receive. So really this game is like the first one, a win-win.
So there it is my friends. A Giants win puts them possibly back in a tie for the division lead, and at minimum back into a tie for the 5th playoff spot. Obviously a loss would be terrible (although not season ending), but I believe this team will pull together. I believe that the GM has filled the holes with enough depth to win two games, at which point a number of key players will be back in time for the final push. All is not lost, but this is without a doubt the most important weekend of the season.