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NFC Playoff Picture, Week 11: Giants just keep winning

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Five-game winning streak has NYG in drivers’ seat

Chicago Bears v New York Giants
Landon Collins celebrates a game-sealing interception on Sunday.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New York Giants (7-3) just keep winning close games. It isn’t always pretty, and it wasn’t again on Sunday against a bad Chicago Bears team (2-8), but it’s kept the Giants alive in the uber-competitive NFC East.

Big Blue has a long way to go before becoming legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the NFC, but as Jason Pierre-Paul noted last week, a return to the postseason after consecutive 6-10 seasons will suffice.

“Our job this year is to just get in the playoffs, take it one game at a time and hopefully at the end of this run in the regular season we will be in the playoffs,” he said. “That is the whole goal here.”

The Giants are certainly on track to accomplish that goal. As it stands today, they lead the Washington Redskins by a game in the win column for the top-wildcard spot in the NFC. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Giants stand a 66 percent chance of maintaining that lead and clinching their first playoff-berth since 2011.

Let’s take a look at where each NFC East team would stand, if the season were to end today.

Dallas Cowboys (9-1), No. 1 seed

The Cowboys have won nine straight games, the longest streak in the franchise’s storied history. They’ve also made the only logical decision they could have at quarterback— keeping Dak Prescott ahead of a returning Tony Romo on the depth chart. Prescott has only improved his QB rating as the season has gone on, from 93 in September, to 104 in October and now 129 in the month of November. Ezekiel Elliot (1,102) broke Tony Dorsett’s team rookie rushing (1,007) record Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, and there’s still six games to play. No team has seen the kind of production out of their rookies that Dallas has. The Cowboys also have top-10 scoring defense, yielding 18.7 points per game. Their punishing offensive line and ball-control style will be tough for any team in the NFL to deal with.

Washington Redskins (6-3-1), No. 6 seed

The Redskins haven’t lost a game in nearly one calendar month. Their six wins are impressive, exponentially more so considering they started the season 0-2. They continue to roll, beating two teams in the last two weeks who the Giants lost to, the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. Washington holds a win over the Giants as well, but the two teams are tied in the division and will see each other once more this season. With a tie on the Redskins record, it’s unlikely a tiebreaker will be needed at the end of the season.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-5), OUT, 27 percent chance to reach postseason

The Eagles are 2-5 since starting the season 3-0. They’ve been a hard team to figure out, unexpectedly beating the Atlanta Falcons (6-4) one week and not-so-unexpectedly losing to the Seattle Seahawks the next. Philadelphia has been out of the NFC top-six for a couple weeks and will need a lot of help over the season’s final six games. Even if they were to catch the Giants or Redskins in the standings, they’re 0-3 in the division and 3-5 in the conference. Philly would have to win out to reenter the playoff picture, they’re outside-looking-in for the foreseeable future.