It is no longer a matter of making it to the playoffs for the Giants. Instead, it is a matter of how good of a spot they can put themselves in before the postseason begins. If the playoffs ended today, Big Blue would be in position for, not only a first-round-bye, but home field advantage too. Let’s take a look at the remaining schedule for the Giants:
Week 11: Baltimore Ravens at New York Giants – This should be a good one with two first-place teams facing off at Giants Stadium. Giants have the edge by a little here.
Week 12: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals – The Giants seem to find a way to beat this team each year, but this year things are different. However, even though the Cardinals have improved, so have the Giants.
Week 13: New York Giants @ Washington Redskins – It always seems to be difficult to beat this team late in the season. Each season, they seem to have entered the regular season unprepared and fall to the Giants in the early weeks. Then, by the time these two teams meet again, the Redskins always happen to have morphed into a dangerous team.
Week 14: Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants – Only time will tell what kind of match up this will turn out to be. Sure, the Eagles lost to the Giants last week, but this game is a long time from now. You never know what will happen.
Week 15: New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys – Boy, this should be a classic. Following his finger injury, Tony Romo will return to the team only to be in the process of attempting to revive his dead teammates. Until the end of this week, it will be hard to know whether or not Dallas will make a successful comeback. If not, the Giants will most likely be wrapping up a first-round bye by this weekend.
Week 16: Carolina Panthers at New York Giants – Is this a playoff preview? I hope not. No Giants fans want to see a repeat of 2005 at the same exact stadium. However, the two teams have changed quite a bit over the course of three years. In 2005, Eli was still getting his feet wet. A win here would likely knock the Panthers out of the running for the Home-Field advantage, clinching it for the Giants.
Week 17: New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings – I’m guessing the Giants will just be happy to rest their players this week. No need for Eli Manning to break his leg in a meaningless game. Hmm, just imagine David Carr taking over the team with Home-Field advantage. Ooh, I don’t want to go there.
Everyone I talk to or everything I read tells me over and over that the Giants have an extremely difficult schedule down the stretch. Yes, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy, but it isn’t worth saying that it is extremely difficult. It is not like this team is fighting for it’s playoff hopes. It isn’t 2007 anymore.