According to the results of our most recent poll, Big Blue faithful overwhelmingly believe the New York Giants are going to win the NFC East title. Seventy-six percent (2,791) of the 3,690 votes cast in our poll said "yes" the Giants will win the division. So, what do our Big Blue View staff writers think?
Here are the opinions of several of your BBV contributors.
The Giants will win the NFC East. The entire division has or had quarterback problems that have plagued them this season except for the New York Giants. And while this advantage has barely kept the Giants in first place, the play of the other teams in the division has been dreadful. While the Dallas Cowboys get back Tony Romo, they have to be flawless in order to make the playoffs and I don't find the likelihood of that being high. The Redskins have a solid record compared to most Redskin years but is anyone truly afraid of Kirk Cousins? Their schedule will harden up as they play the Carolina Panthers, the Giants and the Cowboys next.
That leaves the Philadelphia Eagles who have been the Giants' Kryptonite for the past half decade. The last time the Giants faced an Eagles team whose record was at least .500 and won was in 2008. If the Eagles are remotely a solid team, history has told us that the Giants will lose. Luckily for us, the Eagles have looked dreadful to every other team in the NFL. Their offense has yet to click and that's with their starter Sam Bradford who will now miss time to injury. If we are lucky, the Giants will hit their stride after a tough but close loss akin to their losses in 2007 against the Patriots and in 2011 against the undefeated Green Bay Packers to be in a position where the all important week 17 matchup against the Eagles won't matter.
In a head to head matchup, if Week 17 is a do or die scenario, I have little faith in the Giants winning it. They are apparently cursed against the Eagles and for the past two years, the Eagles front 7 (specifically Connor Barwin) has dominated the Giants offense. For the Giants to make the playoffs, I think they have to handle business, before week 17 to make it in.
I don't think the Giants will make the playoffs. We are two games past the halfway point of the season, and this team sits at 5-5 with a string of possible wins now residing in the loss column. If this team was a legitimate contender, they wouldn't only be up a half-game heading into their bye week.
This isn't a statistical or empirical deduction of quality. It's just my gut. The close fourth-quarter losses have cost this team too much distance in a division that refuses to quit. If I was a gambling man, I'd bet on this team's inability to close out games to translate to closing out a season.
Of course, this all comes down to injuries, and every team in the NFC East looks like they're sporting some heavy battle-damage. Whoever takes the least hits in the final stretch will likely win. Given the Giants' injury history, I can't imagine they survive the Battle Royale.
If we have learned anything about the Giants through the first 10 games of the 2015 season, it's that we can't predict anything about them. This is a team that can beat any team in the league -- and fortunately for them, this isn't college where style points matter -- and they can lose to any team in the league.
But just last week we saw them beat the best team in the league, even if they lost the game. We have seen Tom Coughlin keep hopeless teams fighting, and have marginal teams use near misses against undefeated championship as a springboard. I'm not going to go so far as to predict that, but I do think that this team will get healthy-ish, and rebound off their loss and into the playoffs. I think a reasonable 9-7 record will do it, but if they keep playing like they did against the Patriots, then 10-6, with a victory over either the Panthers or Vikings isn't out of the question.
I truly believe this division is a two-team race between the Giants and Eagles, so Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins would probably not like that. After looking at the schedules of these three teams, I do believe that of the three, the Giants have the best chance to separate themselves over the next month. The Giants are on their bye week this week, but they will take on the Redskins, Jets and Dolphins after -- all three are winnable games. The Eagles take on the Buccaneers this week, then play at Detroit on Thanksgiving on short rest, but then go through arguably the gauntlet of their schedule, when they face the Patriots, Bills and Cardinals in that order. That's no small task for any team, and I could see the Eagles being 6-8 and in the hole right before Christmas. As for the Redskins, they take on the undefeated Panthers this week, followed by a tilt against the Giants and then Tony Romo and the Cowboys on Monday Night Football.
Anything can happen, but I'm expecting the Giants to win their next three games, while both the Redskins and Eagles falter a bit so that Big Blue is in the driver's seat of the division. The Giants face the Panthers, Vikings and Eagles at the end of the season, which worries me because that means the final game of the season could decide who makes it to the playoffs if the Giants lose to Carolina and Minnesota, but I think the Giants will get healthy at the right time, play well enough to reach nine wins and make the playoffs.
Though I'm projecting the Gmen with a 9-7 record, I do see them making the playoffs. The NFC East is one of the weakest divisions in the NFL, and even though the Giants have injury/depth issues, we still have the best overall team in the East. Currently 5-5, we could easily be 8-2 if it weren't for some terrible play calling/clock management issues at the end of the Cowboys, Falcons, and Patriots games. Looking around the division, I feel confident that we have the best odds of "surviving" the NFC East, and probably playing a 10 or 11 win wild card team in round 1 at MetLife. I'm too superstitious to say what I really want to, but let's just say that I believe in symmetry, and every four years under coach Coughlin, the Giants go on to ...