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NFL playoff picture: New York Giants have no excuses now

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Thanksgiving Day results leave Giants in control

Tony Romo after being injured Thursday
Tony Romo after being injured Thursday
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday could not have been a better day for the New York Giants. The Dallas Cowboys lost -- and may have once again lost quarterback Tony Romo. The Philadelphia Eagles lost -- got humiliated, really -- and look like a team that has packed it in and is ready for a new coach and another makeover.

Let's review the carnage of a Thanksgiviving Day NFC East massacre that left the Giants sitting pretty in the race to the division title

Lions 45, Eagles 14

The Eagles lost for the third straight time, gave up 45 points for the second straight week, and fell to 4-7. They gave up 337 yards and five touchdowns to Matthew Stafford.  They look like a team that knows their season is pretty much over. Even their fans seem to see that all they have left at this point is wondering about Chip Kelly's future.

Panthers 33, Cowboys 14

Dallas entered Thursday hoping that victory over the unbeaten Panthers would springboard them on a late-season run to the division title. Instead they left the game a broken team. Dallwas was dominated by the 11-0 Panthers. The game was already losy before Tony Romo suffered a season-ending injury on the final play of the third quarter. Romo has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture of the left clavicle, basically the same injury that cost him seven games earlier in the season.

Dallas is now 3-8. They haven't won a game Romo hasn't played in. Mathematically they still have a chance, but realistically the Cowboys' season is over.

Final Thoughts

The NFC East is now there for the Giants to take. It is, in fact, begging for the division-leading Giants (5-5) to take control. Can the Giants take advantage of their opportunity on Sunday in Landover, Md. against the Washington Redskins -- right now looking like the only team with a legitimate shot at threatening the Giants' run to an NFC East championship.

If the Giants win on Sunday they will be 6-5 and have a two-game lead over Washington and Philadelphia with five games to play. Despite the difficulties of their remaining schedule, that would give them a clear path to the division crown and their first playoff berth in four years.

If they lose on Sunday they would be tied with Washington at 5-6 atop the division and in a five-game sprint to see who would emerge as the winner of the NFC East. A loss Sunday, then, makes the Giants' path more difficult. They would, however, still have a legitimate opportunity.

It really comes down to this. There is really no reason at this point that the Giants should not win the NFC East.