The New York Giants are not playing on Thanksgiving this year. However, two of their division rivals are playing. And the game that they are playing is crucial for the Giants and their playoff aspirations.
After a wild Week 11 in the NFL, the Giants found themselves in a three-way tie for second place in the NFC East, despite not playing during their bye week. The Giants, Football Team, and Cowboys are all tied with a 3-7 record. Washington and Dallas both picked up clutch victories last week to narrow the gap between themselves and the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia is a half-game ahead of everyone else with a 3-6-1 record.
With the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Football Team facing off in this Thanksgiving matchup, Giants fans should watch closely as this game could have major implications on New York’s season. The Giants have a tough schedule to close out the year, playing playoff-caliber teams like the Ravens, Seahawks, Cardinals, and Browns before season’s end. The Giants might struggle to string together more wins this year, but some of their divisional rivals’ schedules are not as difficult.
The Cowboys, in particular, have a much easier schedule. The Cowboys will face one legitimate playoff contender, the Baltimore Ravens. The rest of their matchups are quite manageable. Dallas will play the 49ers, starting Nick Mullens, their backup quarterback. Outside of that, they will play the Bengals who just lost Joe Burrow for the season, as well as the struggling Eagles and one final matchup with the Giants. If Dallas continues to play the way they did last week, that season-ending matchup with the Giants could be an additional playoff game.
Root for Washington or Dallas?
For Giants fans, Washington needs to beat Dallas today. The Giants have the tie-breaker over Washington, beating them twice this season. New York has already lost one of its two matchups against the Cowboys and will play their next game against Dallas in Week 17. Dallas has a favorable schedule leading up to that game and could string together some wins to take the lead in the divisional race.
The Washington Football Team, however, plays a much harder schedule to close out the season. They will face the undefeated Steelers and the Super Bowl-contending Seahawks, making their schedule instantly harder than Dallas’s. For Washington to stay alive in the playoff race, they need to win today’s matchup. Additionally, in order to keep Dallas from picking up steam and taking a lead in the division, Washington needs to win today’s matchup. The Giants should hope to see Dallas crumble like the crust of an apple pie during today’s afternoon Turkey Day matchup.