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NFL Playoff Picture Week 15: Giants In Good Spot, But Have No Guarantees

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Let's turn our attention away from all of this in-fighting about Eli Manning, and toward what our New York Giants have to do in order to reach the NFC playoffs.

First and foremost, of course, we would all like to see the Giants take care of business on Sunday and then finish the season with victories over Green Bay and Washington, thus winning the NFC East.

If the Giants do not win Sunday, or do not end up winning the NFC East, it appears they will be in a fight with the second-place team in the NFC North (8-5 Green Bay or 9-4 Chicago) and, possibly, the 8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the final wild-card spot.

The Packers have a brutal road ahead to finish the season. They travel to Foxboro this weekend to face the 11-2 New England Patriots, and may do so without quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a concussion in Sunday's critical loss to Detroit. Going to New England with backup Matt Flynn at quarterback is not a good scenario. The Packers then host the Giants and the Bears to finish the season. That, of course, makes the Giants trip to Lambeau Field in two weeks just as important as this Sunday's game at New Meadowlands Stadium against the Eagles.

The Giants, of course, already own a tie-breaker over the Bears since they defeated Chicago earlier this season.

Tampa Bay is a game back, but has winnable games the next two weeks at home vs. 3-10 Detroit and 6-7 Seattle before finishing the season at New Orleans. The 10-3 Saints have won six straight and should have a playoff berth locked up by then.

After Philly and Green Bay, the Giants finish the season in Washington against the Redskins.