Late in the NFL season, it’s usually time to talk about playoff scenarios. It’s started earlier than usual this season with teams like the Los Angeles Rams being so good and many other teams being mediocre to bad.
For much of the season, the New York Giants have not needed to worry about those playoff scenarios. Heading into a Week 9 bye, the Giants were 1-7 and among the favorites to have the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. But a few weeks and a few wins later the now 4-8 Giants have a path to the playoffs thanks to the overall underwhelming nature surrounding the rest of the NFC East.
Now let’s be clear, this path is not mathematically probable, and to be honest, it’s not something that is going to happen. Football Outsiders gives the Giants just a 0.1 percent chance to win the division. But we can see what that path is thanks to the playoff simulator from The Upshot by The New York Times. Here is how the Giants win the NFC and make the playoffs as an 8-8 team this season:
Monday Night Football - Week 13
Washington or Philadelphia
In my original dig into this, I had Philadelphia needing to beat Washington, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Either team can win this matchup, but the winner has to lose when these two teams meet again in Week 17.
Giants over Washington
Philadelphia over Dallas
Giants over Tennessee
Indianapolis over Dallas
Jacksonville over Washington
Rams over Philadelphia
Giants over Indianapolis
Tampa Bay over Dallas
Houston over Philadelphia
Tennessee over Washington
Giants over Dallas
Opposite Philadelphia/Washington result from Week 13
It bears repeating that all of these things have to happen for the Giants to make the playoffs, which is highly unlikely. But even if the Giants only have a 0.1 percent chance at the playoffs, it’s an impressive feat those odds aren’t 0.0 at this point in the season.