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NFC playoff picture: New York Giants on the outside looking in

Giants have lost control of their own playoff destiny.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Bill Parcells always said "you are what your record says you are." Which, of course makes the New York Giants a 5-6 team on the outside looking in when in comes to the NFL playoff picture. Let's assess the NFC East after Sunday's no-show by the Giants left the division as the only one in the league without a single team at or above .500.

NFC East Standings

NFC East Overall W-L Pct GB Div W-L Home Road Streak
Washington 5-6 0.455 -- 2-1 5-1 0-5 W1
NY Giants 5-6 0.455 -- 2-3 3-2 2-4 L2
Philadelphia 4-7 0.364 1.0 2-2 2-3 2-4 L3
Dallas 3-8 0.273 2.0 2-2 1-5 2-3 L1

Giants (5-6)

The Giants are in a mess, and they have only themselves to blame for it. Four losses in the final two minutes of winnable games, including three in the closing seconds. Two absolutely abominable performance on the road in division games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.

The Giants could be coasting toward an NFC East championship right now. Instead, they are careening perilously close to a fourth straight playoff-less season, and possibly a third straight one with a losing record. It shouldn't be this way for this team, but it is. Now, can they still do anything about it?

The Giants face the New York Jets this Sunday. Under normal circumstances you would call it a must-win for the Giants. In the NFC East,maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Still, fi the Giants fall to 5-7 with the Carolina Panthers (11-0) and Minnesota Vikings (8-3) looming on the schedule it is hard to see how the Giants end up winning the division.

Sadly, despite all the chances they have had, no matter what they do the Giants will now need some help in order to emerge with the NFC East crown.

Remaining schedule

12/6 -- vs. New York Jets
12/14 -- @ Miami Dolphins
12/20 -- vs. Carolina Panthers
12/27 -- @ Minnesota Vikings
1/3 -- vs. Eagles

Redskins (5-6)

Being 5-6 after 11 games isn't exactly a great accomplishment, but who figured the Redskins would be legitimate contenders this late in the season, much less division leaders.

Washington has the tie-breaker advantage on the Giants because of its 2-1 NFC East record. The Redskins still have to play the Dallas Cowboys twice and the Philadelphia Eagles once.

This Sunday the Redskins play in Dallas, and one of two regrettable streaks is going to come to an end. Washington is 0-5 on the road this season, and the Cowboys are 0-7 in games started by a quarterback other than Tony Romo. Swallow hard, Giants fans, and root for the Cowboys.

Remaining schedule

12/7 -- vs. Dallas Cowboys
12/13 -- @ Chicago Bears
12/20 -- vs. Buffalo Bills
12/26 -- @ Eagles
1/3 -- @ Cowboys

Eagles (4-7)

Somehow, the fractured reeling Kelly Boys are still just one game out of first. Philadelphia has lost three straight, given up 45 points in back-to-back games and there is rampant speculation that Chip Kelly and the Eagles will part ways after this season. Yet, thanks to the blundering Giants the Eagles still have a chance to win the division.

Of course, Philadelphia has to face an angry New England Patriots team this Sunday coming off its first loss of the season. The Eagles best hope is still to somehow make that Week 17 game against the Giants meaningful and hope the Giants continue their habit of coming up small in big spots

Remaining schedule

12/6 -- @ New England Patriots
12/13 -- vs. Buffalo Bills
12/20 -- vs. Arizona Cardinals
12/26 -- vs. Washington Redskins
1/3 -- @ Giants

Cowboys (3-8)

With Romo gone for the season after re-injuring the clavicle that cost him seven games earlier in the season, the Cowboys have no chance to win the division. As much as Giants fans can't stand/dislike/hate the Jones Boys, though, they are now in the uncomfortable position of hoping they can get some help from Dallas the rest of the way.

The Cowboys have two games, this Sunday and Week 17, left with the Redskins. Since the Giants haven't been able to help themselves, it sure would be nice if Dallas gave them a little assistance.

Remaining schedule

12/7 -- @ Redskins
12/13 -- @ Green Bay Packers
12/19 -- vs. New York Jets
12/27 -- @ Buffalo Bills
1/3 -- vs. Washington Redskins