If the 3-3 New York Giants intend to play meaningful football the rest of the 2014 NFL season, Sunday's game in Arlington against the surprising 5-1 Dallas Cowboys is one they really have to win. The odds, undeniably, are now firmly against the Giants after last Sunday's debacle in Philadelphia.
Oddsmakers established the Giants as 5-point underdogs in the opening line, and that point spread is now 6.5 to 7 points depending on what service you prefer. If the Giants lose Sunday, they will have three more losses than both the Cowboys and Eagles (who have their bye this week). They won't, of course, be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Realistically, though, the situation will be grim. As it is, current projections give the Giants only a 22 percent chance of reaching the 2014 playoffs.
The Giants, of course, have done some of their best work under Tom Coughlin when they have found themselves pushed to the brink of disaster.
"The idea is to rise up, we have been knocked down before," Coughlin said on Monday.
"I think this is a turning point in the season. This is something we are going to have to grow up from real quick and make sure we get the ship right," veteran defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said on Monday. "The story about the season has not been written yet, and I feel like as long as we come back out this week ready, prepared and enthusiastic about getting a win, then we will change that perception of us."
As noted earlier, Dallas and Philadelphia already have five wins. If you want to look at the wild-card picture, the Arizona Cardinals (4-1), San Francisco 49ers (4-2) and Detroit Lions (4-2) are also ahead of the Giants. You can look at that and project that it likely will 10 wins for the Giants to have a shot at making the playoffs.
That means going at least 7-3 over the final 10 games. It means the Giants can't lose any more winnable games, like they did Week 2 against the Cardinals. Or lay any more eggs, like they did Sunday against the Eagles. And it means they really need to win on Sunday.
Vote in our poll below and let us know if you believe the Giants will make the playoffs.