The New York Giants kick off the second half of their season on Sunday against the Houston Texans. Will the season end after Week 18, or will the Giants make the playoffs for the first time since 2016?
We gathered around the ‘Big Blue View Round Table’ to see what our writers thought. Here is the exact question posed:
“Will the Giants make the playoffs? Why or why not?”
Answers are below.
Will the Giants make the playoffs? They should, at least as things stand right now. The Giants have a two game lead over the teams on the outside looking in, and their 6-2 start to the season gives them a (fairly) comfortable buffer.
Whether they can sustain the play that got them there remains to be seen, and five of their last nine games are all in the division. Anything can happen in divisional play, while the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings can be tough as well. So while the Giants should make the playoffs, they can’t afford to take anything for granted, either.
The New York Giants do not have the talent level of a playoff team, but they’ll still be able to lock up a wild card berth. Let’s assume that the Eagles win the NFC East and the Cowboys take the first wild card spot. That leaves three top contenders for the NFC’s two remaining wild cards: the Giants, 49ers, and Rams. The Giants are the least intimidating of that group, but they also have a two-game lead over the 49ers and three games on the Rams.
New York has nine games remaining, and five of those are against teams with losing records. It’s not unreasonable to expect the Giants to win at least four more games this year and finish with 10+ wins. That goal will be much more achievable if Kenny Golladay can play like some semblance of a No. 1 receiver. Sunday’s matchup with the Houston Texans will be a good litmus test. If they can decisively beat the NFL’s worst team, the Giants should be able to pull out wins against upcoming opponents like the Lions and Colts. If the game is close, that means New York has been overly reliant on well-timed mistakes and chance plays, which isn’t a sustainable formula.
Tony Del Genio
The Giants will not win the NFC East; a wild-card berth is their goal. A tougher second half schedule plus mounting injuries on both sides of the ball will limit their success. Four wins out of five from among HOU, DET, IND, and 2xWAS sounds about right, for a 10-7 record. I won’t rule out 11-6 with a WAS sweep or a win @MIN. How soon does Daniel Bellinger come back? Does Xavier McKinney play again this season? How about Azeez Ojulari? Evan Neal? Ben Bredeson? Will Nick Gates, Shane Lemieux, and Matt Peart play and make a positive difference? Will Kenny Golladay (or Isaiah Hodgins) actually become a useful receiving target? Does Mike Kafka have an answer for how Seattle shut down the Giants’ read option offense? Will Daniel Jones finally play a full season? So many questions.
Let’s assume Dallas and the NFC West loser (San Francisco or Seattle) grab the top two wild cards. The Giants will then be up against Washington, the NFC South loser (Tampa Bay or Atlanta), and LA Rams for the third wild card. The Commanders and Rams are not good enough to make up a three-game deficit to the Giants. The Falcons could run the table with their soft second half schedule, but they’re not good enough, as they showed last night. Tampa Bay has a tougher schedule but with Tom Brady they’re a better team. One of them will wind up with eight losses and the Giants will make the playoffs as the third wild Card.
It’s been an unlikely season for the New York Giants, but will it end in an unlikely playoff experience? The Giants are currently in the driver’s seat at 6-2 for a wild card spot. The Giants’ schedule gets a bit more difficult now following the bye week, especially following the games against the Texans and the Lions. With five games still to play within the division, every game will be important if the Giants want to be playing football past Week 18.
Currently, the biggest challengers to the Giants making the playoffs are the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders, and LA Rams. The Commanders will be the most intriguing of these teams as they have two games against the Giants to make up ground if they can sweep the season series. Ultimately, I believe 10-7 makes the playoffs for the Giants which is where I currently forecast their record to be. That leaves the margin of error too thin for these other teams to make it as they would need an unlikely hot end to the season. Barring a complete second-half collapse from the Giants, they will be returning to playoff football for the first time since 2016.
I expressed my view that the Giants will make the playoffs in Friday’s ‘5 bold second-half predictions’ post. Here is what I wrote:
If you go by predictive models this really is not a bold prediction. ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Giants an 87.3 percent chance of being a playoff team. CBS Sports’ computer model gives the Giants a 92 percent chance. FiveThirtyEight forecasts an 80 percent chance the Giants are in the postseason.
The Giants reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2016, though, really is a bold prediction.
The Giants are 6-2, and my guess is it will take 10 wins to secure a wild-card spot. If I’m right, a 4-5 record over the final nine games would be enough to get the Giants into the postseason tournament.
The Giants have five NFC East games remaining (two vs. the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles, two vs. the not to be taken lightly Washington Commanders, one in Dallas on Thanksgiving). They also travel to face the 7-1 Minnesota Vikings. So, the path isn’t an easy one.
I will feel much better about this if the Giants hold serve the next two weeks at home against the 1-6-1 Houston Texans and 2-6 Detroit Lions. Even if they win just one of those two games, though, I think they can find a way to a 10-7 record, which should get the job done.