Is it safe to officially rule the Giants out of the race for the division title? It seems like a good bet, though given the way the Giants reached the postseason on the way to their last two Super Bowls, I’m not sure everyone is ready to pronounce them done.
It’s understandable that the Giants have built up that type of mystique, that even an 0-6 mark after losing to Chicago on Thursday night has some unwilling to rule them out.
But if you take a closer look, that’s a bit overblown. While impressive, their improbable runs in 2007 and 2011 were nowhere near as monumental as what sits before them right now.
In both of their Super Bowl years, the Giants were 4-2 after six games, and they reached 6-2 by the halfway point of each season. In each season, they slipped a little down the stretch before recovering in time to make the playoffs.
If New York is to go on a run this time around, the Giants would need to win at least eight of their next 10 games, assuming 8-8 is enough to win the NFC East. It’d have to be nine of 10 to reach 9-7, and then obviously 10 in a row to post a 10-6 record.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but with four division games, not to mention a road trip to San Diego and home games against Green Bay and Seattle still ahead of them, it looks bleak for New York.
Meanwhile, it’s the Eagles who find themselves in an enviable position this week. Having gotten off their three game losing streak by beating the aforementioned Giants, the Eagles travel to play equally hapless Tampa Bay, in a game that has Philadelphia as a road favorite.
The Buccaneers have been close to winning three of the four games they’ve been in, and they’re fourth in the league in total defense and eighth in scoring defense. Michael Vick’s status as the Eagles’ starting quarterback is still unclear due to his strained hamstring, but I think Nick Foles is good enough to lead Philadelphia to a win even if Vick can’t go.
If Philly can’t get the win, it’ll improve its season record to 3-3, and the Eagles will be free to watch division rivals Dallas and Washington slug it out on Sunday Night Football. From there, the Cowboys have to go to Philadelphia while Washington hosts a good Chicago team in Week 7.
Of course, it would be unwise to get too premature. Positioning within the division hinges on the Eagles doing something they haven’t done in 20 games – winning in back-to-back outings.
But it’s safe to say we’ve come a long way from the first few weeks of the season. If the Cowboys can’t grab a win on Sunday night, they run the risk of falling behind two different teams in the NFC East standings.