The New York Giants, for a short while, sat alone in first place in the NFC East. After a clutch, statement victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, New York improved its record to 5-7, moving into first place in their division. It looked like New York would hold onto that position, as the 4-7 Washington Football Team was scheduled to play the 11-0 Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night. However, Washington earned a statement victory of its own on Monday, improving to 5-7 and tying the Giants for first place in the division.
The Giants, of course, have the head-to-head tie-breaker over Washington. The division rivals already played their two scheduled contests in 2020, with the Giants coming out with the victory in both of those matchups. Still, Washington and New York have the exact same record after thirteen weeks this season. With the other two NFC East teams imploding, it looks to be a tight race to win the NFC East between the Giants and The Football Team.
The race to win the NFC East
With four weeks left in the season, the Giants have a tight race to win the NFC East. New York is on an impressive four-game winning streak and looks like a completely different team than they were when they were started the season 0-5. But the Washington Football Team has also improved drastically over recent weeks and could try to steal the Giants’ playoff spot.
Washington is now on a three-game winning streak after handing the Steelers their first loss of the season. But with four games left to play, Washington just might have a more favorable schedule than New York.
The Giants’ Remaining Schedule
The Giants will host the 6-6 Arizona Cardinals this week in another intriguing matchup. This is certainly a winnable game for the Giants but they need to be careful when facing Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and the Cardinals’ electric offense. This should be a good, close matchup.
Then, in Week 15, the 9-3 Browns will travel to New Jersey and give the Giants one of their toughest tests of the season. Cleveland is on a serious roll in recent weeks and poses a serious threat for the Giants on their upcoming schedule.
The Gmen will then travel to play another AFC North team after that, the 6-5 Baltimore Ravens who have looked like anything but the Super Bowl contenders they were expected to be before the season began. But the Giants cannot sleep on a Ravens team that features the reigning league MVP.
Finally, in Week 17, the Giants will have their final divisional game as they host the disappointing Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is 3-8 on the year and is by far the Giants’ weakest opponent on their remaining schedule.
The Football Team’s Schedule
The Washington Football team’s schedule seems to have less formidable opponents. Washington will travel to play the 5-7 San Fransisco 49ers this week. Record-wise, this is an even matchup. But San Fransisco looked ready to throw in the towel early in last night’s loss to Buffalo and might be cooling off for the season.
Washington will then host a tough, but beatable 8-4 Seattle Seahawks team. The Giants are celebrating a thrilling victory over Seattle this week, but they should hope that Seattle can put together a better performance in Week 15.
The Football Team’s Week 16 matchup is another beatable team. The Carolina Panthers have dealt with many key injuries this season, pulling their record down to 4-8. However, stud running back Christian McCaffery might return in time to play Washington, which could give the Football Team’s solid defense some trouble.
The Football Team’s final game of the season makes things very interesting. Washington will finish their season in Philadelphia against the struggling 3-8 Eagles who just benched starting quarterback Carson Wentz. This projects to be a favorable matchup for Washington, but this will likely be one of those ultra-rare moments where Giants fans root for Philadelphia.
The Path to the Playoffs
Simply put, if the Giants keep playing the way they have been playing, and if they keep winning football games, they should win the division. New York’s defense has been dominant in recent weeks. The best way to win the race to the playoffs is to win out. But, realistically, the Giants might drop a game or two before the season’s end. The Giants should hope to see Washington lose in Philadelphia in Week 17 in order to weigh down their divisional record and give the Giants a greater chance of winning the NFC East.