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Playoffs? The New York Giants? The math says it is still possible

It is mathematically possible, but it’s far from realistic

NFL: New York Giants at Las Vegas Raiders Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The playoffs are a fantasy land for the 2023-24 New York Giants. There is little to no chance that fantasy comes to life over the final five games of the season. The math, though, says the possibility remains.

Because of that, because it is the bye week, and simply because we can let’s entertain the possibility.

Here are the current NFC playoff standings, via Pro Football Reference:

NFC Playoff Standings Table
Tm W L T Position Reason
Philadelphia Eagles (1) 10 1 0 East Champion
San Francisco 49ers (2) 8 3 0 West Champion conference win percentage
Detroit Lions (3) 8 3 0 North Champion
Atlanta Falcons (4) 5 6 0 South Champion head-to-head record
Dallas Cowboys (5) 8 3 0 Wild Card #1
Seattle Seahawks (6) 6 5 0 Wild Card #2
Minnesota Vikings (7) 6 6 0 Wild Card #3
Green Bay Packers 5 6 0 head-to-head record
Los Angeles Rams 5 6 0 conference win percentage
New Orleans Saints 5 6 0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4 7 0
New York Giants 4 8 0 conference win percentage
Chicago Bears 4 8 0 head-to-head record
Washington Commanders 4 8 0
Arizona Cardinals 2 10 0
Carolina Panthers 1 10 0

Team Rankings gives the Giants a miniscule 0.8% chance of making the playoffs. ESPN’s Football Power Index gives them the lowest possible chance, 0.1%. The New York Times playoff projection machine generously rounds it off and gives the Giants a 1% chance of making the playoffs for a second straight year.

So, it’s possible. But, truth is it’s not ‘really’ possible. But, hey, it seemed pretty close to impossible a couple of weeks ago that the Giants would win back-to-back games with Tommy DeVito at quarterback.

Look at those standings. Considering that the Minnesota Vikings (6-6) have the seventh seed as of now, it might be possible that a team with only eight victories somehow gets the seventh seed. The Giants would have to go 4-1 over their final five games to reach that mark. More likely, it takes nine wins. The Giants would have to run the table to get there.

That is not happening. Not with two of their final five games against the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles, who might be the best team in football.

Still, the Giants have games against the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints left on the schedule. All three of those teams are 5-6, directly ahead of the Giants in the conference standings right now. All three of those games are winnable.

What, though, if the Giants do manage to win those three games and finish the season 7-10? Considering the schedule they have had to face and the reality that many analysts expected regression after last season’s 10-8-1 record (including playoffs) that’s right around where many figured the 2023-24 Giants would end up.

Looking at how this season started, how would you feel if the Giants ended up with six or seven wins?