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NFC Playoff Picture: Win or go home for New York Giants

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The Giants have squandered a season rife with opportunities. Have they run out of chances to make the playoffs?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NFL playoff picture is finally starting to get set. Only two divisions really remain wide open, the equally woeful AFC South and NFC East.

NFC Playoff Standings

Division Leaders

1) Carolina Panthers (13-0)

2) Arizona Cardinals (11-2)

3) Green Bay Packers (9-4)

4) Washington Redskins (6-7)

Wild Card



In The Hunt

It is unlikely that any of the sub-.500 teams are going to get a wild-card berth, and neither of the AFC South teams stand a chance of winning their division.

However, in many ways the New York Giants hold the keys to the NFC playoff picture. Not only their own, but which of the NFC North teams get to the playoffs

With wins by the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins on Sunday, the Giants find themselves in third place in the division, and will remain there even with a win against the Miami Dolphins. However, a win in Miami keeps the Giants' foot in the door to potentially win their division.

The Giants' only sure route to the playoffs is to win out. At this point it seems incredibly unlikely, but if the Giants are able to win their next four games, they make the playoffs outright.

Because each of the NFC East teams have at least one division game remaining on their schedule, it is impossible for more than one team in the division to go undefeated and claim that elusive 9-7 crown as their own.

From there the picture starts to get extremely murky.

There are scenarios where the Giants can sneak in with an 8-8 record, but that involves the Eagles losing to the Cardinals in Week 15 and the Giants in Week 17. However, if the Giants drop any game along the way, it is more likely that the winner of the Week 16 match up between the Redskins and Eagles will determine the winner of the division.

Check out the ESPN Playoff Predictor to run through some scenarios of your own.