The NFC East might not be decided until the New York Giants host the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 28, the final Sunday of the 2014 regular season. The Giants, though, certainly have a huge opportunity to grab control of the division over the next two weeks.
The Giants are 3-2 after five weeks, a game behind the 4-1 Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants, as I'm certain most Giants fans are well aware, travel to Philly Sunday night to face the Eagles. They follow that with a trip to the Jerry Dome to face the Cowboys. Victories in both of those games would put the Giants at 5-2, and could put them in sole possession of the NFC East lead. The Cowboys have to travel to face the Seattle Seahawks this weekend, and after facing the Giants Philly hits the road to face the Arizona Cardinals.
So go ahead, dare to dream a little bit, Giants fans. Your team, 7-9 last season and nearly left for dead after an 0-2 start this season, could be leading the division when it hits its bye after Week 7.
"Every week is an opportunity to prove to people that we're for real," fullback Henry Hynoski said after Sunday's game. "We like being doubted, we like when people question us. It just makes us work harder. When we're backed up in a corner we find a way out."
The next two weeks, truthfully, are of huge importance to the Giants. They could win both games, run their overall record to 5-2 and their division mark to 3-0, and grab control of the race. They could lose both games, hit the bye 3-4, and face a four-game post-bye gauntlet of games against the Indianapolis Colts on a Monday night, away vs. the Seattle Seahawks, home vs. the San Francisco 49ers and home vs. the Cowboys again with their backs firmly against the wall.
What they really NEED to do is come out of the next two games with at least one victory.
The Eagles are 4-1, but have shown some vulnerability. After throwing only two interceptions all of last season Nick Foles has five this year and a passer rating of 82.5. The Eagles are averaging 31.5 points, but they have been winning with defense, special teams and cardiac comebacks.
The Cowboys are also 4-1. They have been better than advertised, especially on defense where they are eighth in the league in points allowed at 20.6 per game. The Cowboys have protected that vulnerable defense, though, by averaging a time of possession of 34:07, keeping their defense off the field for long periods of time.
Eagles and Cowboys fans, justifiably, should feel good about their teams.
Giants fans, though, should also feel good -- very good -- about what they have been watching. The Giants have scored 30 or more points in three straight games. Eli Manning is playing exceptional football. Both the offensive and defensive lines have been dominant recently. The addition of Odell Beckham adds a weapon to the passing game defenses have to account for. Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are as good a pair of corners as any in the league.
There is going to be one heckuva fight to determine who wins the NFC East, and ultimately which of these three teams ends up in the playoffs. It is the way the NFC East is supposed to be. The fun begins for real on Sunday.
Note: About Philly Week
This, of course, is the beginning of Eagles Week. There is, as we know, no love lost between Eagles fans and Giants fans. You know as well as I do that lots of vile, insulting comments will come your way from Eagles fans at Bleeding Green Nation, which is a great site even if it carries a much different tone than we try to maintain here at BBV. I am asking you not to engage in the nastiness, not to bait Eagles and, especially, not to go to BGN and pick fights.
Rep BBV, and the Giants, with class. Debate where it is appropriate, and civil. Stay above the rest of it. Please. Your week, and mine, will be much better that way.