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NFC playoff picture: New York Giants haven't lost their opportunity

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In the NFC East, no one has.

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It is hard to believe, but the 5-7 New York Giants are far from out of the NFC playoff picture. In the only division in football where no one has at least a .500 record, the Giants are still right in the middle of the NFC East title chase. We know, of course, that had the Giants won just a couple of the five games in which they have blown fourth-quarter leads things would be far different. As bad as things seem, however, the opportunity to win the division remains.

If the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Washington Redskins on Monday night there would be a three-way tie atop the division between the Redskins, Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

"I'm gonna be cheering for Dallas hard," said Giants' offensive lineman Justin Pugh. "Everything we need is in front of us."

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
Philadelphia 5-7 0.417 0.5 2-2 2-3 3-4 W1
NY Giants 5-7 0.417 0.5 2-3 3-3 2-4 L3
Dallas 3-8 0.273 2.0 2-2 1-5 2-3 L1

Washington Redskins (5-6)

Monday night's game vs. Dallas is a huge one for Washington. A victory would not only put the Redskins alone atop the division, it would give them a 3-1 record inside the NFC East and give them control of that tie-breaker.

Remaining schedule

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

Giants (5-7)

What else is there to say? This division was gift-wrapped for the Giants, and yet they have been unable to grab control of it. Yet, there is still a chance. Somebody has to win this crazy. embarrassingly bad division. Why can't the Giants do it? The way things are going, it might only take seven wins.

Remaining schedule

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

Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

How did that happen? How did the Eagles, after losing three straight games and looking finished, defeat the New England Patriots on Sunday? Giants fans should not only take note of the Eagles' victory, they should take heart from it. In the NFC East, three-game losing streaks are the norm and they don't ruin your playoff chances.

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

Dallas Cowboys (3-8)

Amazingly, the Cowboys would be just a game out of first place if they find a way to beat Washington. Hey, the Cowboys have to eventually win a game without Tony Romo? Don't they? And yes, you should be hoping for a Dallas victory on Monday.

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