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NFC playoff picture: Giants are now part of the conversation

Win over Packers leaves them one game out

NFL: Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
Randy Bullock (46) celebrates with teammates after Monday’s game-winning field goal.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It is suddenly fashionable to use the ‘p word’ — playoffs — around the New York Giants. Once 2-8 and looking as though they were playing out the string in a lost season, the Giants have suddenly moved within one game of a playoff spot in the NFC after Monday’s 24-22 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

The 6-7 Packers still hold the seventh and final spot in the NFC playoffs, but that is a tenuous hold. The Giants have won three straight and have games upcoming against two of the teams ahead of them in the chase for that last spot.

Here are the teams fighting for the final NFL playoff spot:

6-7

Packers
Los Angeles Rams
Seattle Seahawks
Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints

5-8

Giants
Chicago Bears

“All we try to do is do our best each week. Prepare as hard as we can to go out there and play as good as we can on game day. Our coaches do it. Our players do it. It’s a close-knit group, I’d say, both coaches and players,” said head coach Brian Daboll when asked about the playoffs. “Tough league, again, we’ve talked about it I don’t know how many times last year, this year. It’s a league of adversity. So, you’ve got to be able to weather storms with a positive mindset, with good solutions, with great focus, intensity, passion, competitiveness, all the things that you need to try to be a competitive team. That’s all we focus on. Certainly, results are not always what you want, but you believe in your process, and you go out there and try to keep improving.”

The Giants, perhaps significantly, now own a win over the Packers and have upcoming games with the Saints and Rams. They travel to New Orleans on Sunday.

“We’re going to focus on New Orleans. We’ve got a short week, so the guys are going to get in early. We’re going to just focus on this week like we always do. It’ll be a tough environment down there. They just played a good game. We’ll enjoy this one here for a couple hours and get to work here early short a day on preparation.”

The Giants have little margin for error. It still seems likely to take nine victories to earn that seventh playoff spot. The Giants would have to win out to get there. They would have to win three of their final four games — Saints, Rams, Philadelphia Eagles twice — to get to eight victories.

“We’re going one game at a time right now,” said Wan’Dale robinson. “We’ll worry about that whenever that time comes and right now it’s just one win at a time and everything will take care of itself.”

Quarterback Tommy Devito said the Giants are well aware of their circumstances.

“I mean Say [Saquon Barkley] said it the other day, I mean everything we want is in front of us, but at the end of the day it’s 1-0 each week,” Devito said. “Obviously that sounds like a very coach’s thing to say, like 1-0, only focus on the week, but that’s truly what it is because if you look too far ahead, you’ll get got and we’re just continuing day in and day out staying through this process.”

ESPN’s Football Power Index still puts the chances of the Giants reaching the playoffs below 1%. Still, we are heading to Week 15 and talking playoffs. That is something that seemed impossible a month ago.