Giants’ Upcoming Schedule: what it’ll take for playoff hopes in December

A modest 2-3 record for the New York Giants heading into week 6 hasn’t felt so good for fans in a while. The team did suffer a tough loss against the Minnesota Vikings losing 28-10 last week but entering October with a 2-2 record wasn’t something that happened since 2016.

The team certainly has its flaws, but if they were to make a push for the playoffs there are certain matchups they need to capitalize on. The Patriots likely push this team down to 2-4, pushing their backs a little closer to the wall.

Without going too far ahead, since its a week to week league, let’s take a look at the opponents after week 6 leading up to December:

Arizona Cardinals, 10/20, 1:00 PM

This will be a battle of the top two rookie quarterbacks drafted between Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones. The Cardinals have a 1-3-1 record through 5 games. Their lone win came against a winless team in the Cincinnati Bengals. While the Giants also have a rookie quarterback this Arizona team has proven to be very a beatable team. They have a decent rushing attack that ranks 11th in the league in yards and they are a middle-of-the-pack team in first downs gained.

That much is encouraging but they also have a defense that’s 29th in yards allowed. This needs to be a bounce-back game for the team if they suffer another loss against the Patriots on Thursday. Letting the Cardinals potentially push the Giants down to 2-5 would be detrimental to their season with tougher matchups down the road.

Detroit Lions, 10/27, 1:00 PM

The Giants don’t have the best record against the Lions in recent history but they’re one of the more friendly matchups left on the schedule. While their offense is top 10 in yards gained with big names like Matthew Stafford and Kerryon Johnson, their defense is struggling. Their best rank in defense is a 20th ranked run-stopping unit. The Lions aren’t among the leagues best in rushing defense but still have Damon “Snacks” Harrison who will give the interior of the Giants offensive line a good fight.

Much like the upcoming matchup with the Cardinals, a top-ranked offense and bottom-ranked defense should at least give the Giants the chance to keep up in these weeks 7 and 8 matchups. While they’ve struggled on defense the Lions won’t lay down for Daniel Jones, they’ve only given up 4 passing touchdowns in 4 games. Winning both of these games is most likely a must with tougher teams around the corner. Improving to 4-4 with wins against the Lions and Cardinals (assuming they lose to NE) would be a record they haven’t matched since 2016.

Dallas Cowboys, 11/4, 8:15 PM

It would’ve been nice for most fans to take a long break from the Cowboys but in less than a month they’ll be in NJ for a rematch. We all know how bad Dak Prescott embarrassed the young Giants defense but they should have their sea legs this time. After a strong 3-0 start against beatable teams like the Giants, Dolphins, and Redskins they’ve stumbled against solid teams like the Saints and Packers. James Bettcher committed to neutralizing Elliott in the first game but at the expense of exposing his secondary, they let Dak Prescott reach a career-high efficiency.

The defensive coordinator will need to ease up in the trenches next time. Daniel Jones will need to bring his A-game against a defense that currently ranks 9th in passing yards allowed. Pat Shurmur will also need to bring his A-game by calling rushing plays more often this time, Dallas currently ranks 23rd against the run. With Saquon likely back to his normal self, the second time around Shurmur will have a chance to redeem himself. A win at home against Dallas would greatly brighten the playoff outlook.

New York Jets, 11/10, 1:00 PM

We can put the Jets in the same category as the Cardinals and Lions for must-win matchups. This is one of the last friendly matchups of the year, although the team will get tougher with Sam Darnold returning soon. They’ve been sinking without their starting quarterback at 0-4 but they aren’t exactly a pushover either. They are 21st in yards allowed which isn’t terrible and giving up 5 touchdown passes in 4 games is respectable as well. Only finding a single touchdown pass so far on offense is the main reason they can’t build any momentum. They’re not as bad as their record and will have some catching up to do themselves but still an opportunistic matchup compared to most of the other remaining opponents.

Chicago Bears, 11/24, 1:00 PM

If the offensive struggles looked bad against the Vikings expect the same, if not worse against the Bears. This defense is stacked from top to bottom, currently ranked 11th against the pass and 6th against rushing offenses. The only hope at taking down a team like this has a lot to do with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. He’s held their offensive unit back so far, failing to score a touchdown in his first 2 starts this year and continues to struggle with reading the entire field in his 3rd season. This will most likely be a low-scoring grind but the Giants could possibly come out on top with an edge in quarterback play. Daniel Jones has looked much better than Trubisky, even as a rookie. Beating either the Bears or Cowboys is most likely crucial for playoff hopes in December.

That’s it for the games leading up to December, excluding the terrifying matchup with the Patriots on Thursday night. The Cowboys and Bears are obviously tough upcoming matchups with overwhelming defenses. Outside of those 2 teams, the Cardinals, Lions, and Jets are matchups this young Giants team should capitalize on if they have playoff hopes.

If the team is really about to fall to 2-4, winning those 3 friendly matchups and managing to pull 1-1 from the Cowboys and Bears games would put this team at 6-5 going into December. A record many New York Giants fans would ultimately be pleased with heading into the final month that includes matchups with Washington and Miami.

It’s a week to week league and a lot can change at any time, however, taking a look at the next couple months this team could have a shot at their first playoff berth since Dave Gettleman took over as GM just a season ago.

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