Every New York Giants fan understands that the 6-5 Giants have put themselves in a very precarious and very difficult playoff position with five weeks left in the regular season. And we have talked about how brutal the remaining schedule is.
Well, Bloomberg has taken a look at the remaining schedules for all 18 teams within two games of a postseason berth, and found that the Giants' remaining schedule is by far the most difficult.
Of New York's remaining five regular-season games, four are against teams with winning records, including two against the Cowboys and this week's meeting with the 11-0 Green Bay Packers, the defending Super Bowl champions. The combined record of the Giants' opponents is 35-20, a winning percentage of .636 that's the highest for any of the playoff contenders. The Giants are 7- point underdogs against Green Bay.
Three of the other leading playoff contenders have a schedule in which their five remaining regular-season opponents have a winning percentage above .500: the Cincinnati Bengals (.545), Oakland Raiders (.527) and Lions (.582).
Yes, the Giants still have a chance. Yes, there seems to be a groundswell of opinion that the Giants could even beat the undefeated Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Yes, the two games against the Cowboys are the ones at this point that will really make or break the season.
The thing is, if the Giants fail to make the playoffs when they look back on 2011 it is what has already happened that will cost them, not what is yet to come.
The Giants have lost three games to sub-.500 teams this season -- the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. In truth, they probably needed to and should have won at least two of those games.
As much as Monday's debacle against New Orleans was embarrassing, it is really those three losses that have the Giants in desperate straits.