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Giants’ playoff scenarios: A look at potential wild-card matchups

Lions, Packers, Seahawks, Falcons are the possibilities

Detroit Lions v New York Giants
A rematch with Matthew Stafford and the Lions is among the playoff possibilities for the Giants.
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The New York Giants are locked in as the No. 5 seed for the NFC playoffs. That means they will play the No. 4 on the road in the opening round. There are currently four possibilities for which team will ultimately earn that No. 4 seed, so let’s look at each potential matchup for the Giants.

Detroit Lions

This might be the best matchup the Giants could hope for. The Giants own a Week 15 victory over Detroit, a 17-6 game at MetLife Stadium. In that game, the Giants took advantage of a Detroit team that is 0-3 playing outdoors this season.

A playoff game with the Lions would be indoors at Ford Field in Detroit, but this still is probably the most favorable matchup the Giants could hope for. Detroit has neither a high-powered offense nor a top-tier defense. They have won nine games largely on the strength of heroics by quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has led an NFL record eight fourth-quarter comebacks this season.

Green Bay Packers

The Giants lost to the Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 5 by a 23-16 score. A return engagement at Lambeau might be a scary proposition for the Giants.

The Packers have won five straight. They have Aaron Rodgers playing at a high level. They have scored 30 or more points in three straight games, and have scored less than 20 points only once all season. The Giants have yet to score 30 points in a game this season, and haven’t reached the 20-point mark in any of their last four games.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have the league’s highest-scoring offense. They are second in total yards. They have quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones and good running backs in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman who can also catch the ball out of the backfield.

Atlanta has scored more than 40 points five times and at least 30 on five other occasions. The Giants would seem to have little chance of matching the Falcons’ high-powered offense in a shootout type game, even though the Atlanta defense is 25th in the league in points allowed. The onus would be on the defense to keep the game in range. A healthy Janoris Jenkins to match up with Jones would be a start.

Seattle Seahawks

A cross-country trip to face the Seahawks might be a nightmare scenario for the Giants. Seattle is 7-1 at home with a loud, raucous CentryLink Field crowd that gives them a home-field advantage as big or bigger than any team in the league.

They are an experienced post-season team. They features a defense that gives up fewer points per game than the Giants, 17.9 to 18.3.