In 2000, the Giants were 7-4 heading into December's first game. HC Jim Fassel made his guarantee that New York was going to the playoffs. 10 years later, and how familiar this position should feel. After two abysmal losses in which the Giants, by all rights, should have won if not for their own mistakes, the Giants rebounded by beating Jacksonville. Now we have 5 games, just like in 2000, to determine whether we go the playoffs.
The Giants need to win 3 of their last 5 games. And that's the worst scenario New York could execute. 4 games would be ideal and 5 is, right now, too much to hope for given the significant offensive injuries facing the G-Men.
First, there is no reason we should not beat the Redskins this weekend. The Giants have had Washington's number that past 5 years, really and New York is at home. Besides, if the Giants lose or have any significant trouble with the Redskins, New York has no business in the playoffs.
Is it possible to knock off Green Bay and Minnesota in the great Midwest? Yes, and here's why. The NFL is really simple because it's not who you play, but when you play them. Minnesota is not playing like last season, not by a longshot. And the Packers are riddled with injuries at key positions. Their loss to the Falcons had less to do with the Falcon's defense and more to do with their inability to score and absolutely zero running game.
Additionally a victory over Green Bay would potentially cause two things to happen: it would almost make certain a Giants home game against the Packers in the playoffs since NY would own the tiebreaker. Second, it might knock Green Bay out of the playoff picture entirely. They still have to play their nemesis the Bears one final time.
It is very possible to win 4 games, and if the Giants hope to go further than the wildcard round, they're going to have to start beating good teams now.
The Giants have their roadmap to the playoffs, if they are mentally and physically tough enough to accept it.