The New York Giants upset the Las Vegas Raiders 23-16 at home on Sunday afternoon. New York is off to a 3-6 start and it is their best start through nine games since 2016. For the Giants, it is kind of sad. However, do they have hope for a playoff spot after the bye week?
Well, the Atlanta Falcons currently hold the seventh seed in the NFC with a 4-4 record. The seventh seed in the NFC could be a weak link. A record of 8-9 or 9-8 could potentially do it.
New York is currently 14th in the NFC. They have to leapfrog teams like the Carolina Panthers (4-5), the Minnesota Vikings (3-5), the Seattle Seahawks (3-5), the San Francisco 49ers (3-5), the Chicago Bears (3-5), and the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6).
The New York Giants schedule features the Eagles twice, Washington once, and Chicago once during that stretch. All four of those games they have to win. The other winnable game New York has on their schedule is the Miami Dolphins (2-7). If the Giants were able to win all of those games, that would bring them to a total of eight.
They would at least leapfrog the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears and potentially a couple of other teams. I feel like New York would have to win at least one of these three games, Los Angeles Chargers (5-3), Dallas Cowboys (6-2), or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If they win one of those three games, along with the other five games I just mentioned, they would finish 9-8, and the seventh seed in the NFC could be very well much in play.
The New York Giants would have a tiebreaker against the Carolina Panthers because New York beat them earlier in the season. They would also have a tiebreaker on the New Orleans Saints (5-3) because New York also beat them earlier in the season.
The Giants don’t have a tie-breaker against the Atlanta Falcons because Atlanta beat New York earlier in the season on a last-second field goal back in Week 3. That loss could potentially loom large in their playoff hopes.
It is something positive to think about. Even though the NFC East was a laughing stock last season, the New York Giants were technically mathematically alive back in Week 17. They won against the Dallas Cowboys, but then the Philadelphia Eagles intentionally lost the football game against The Washington Football Team. Washington won the NFC East last season with a 7-9 record. New York finished 6-10.
It is also very possible they could win seven, eight, or nine games and fall short of the playoffs again. Even if they make the playoffs, don’t be blindsided by the fact that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and general manager Dave Gettleman still have to go.
The offensive line is not very good. I feel like Daniel Jones’s growth is getting stunted because of Garrett. According to Mike Clay of ESPN, the New York Giants have scored an offensive low 41 offensive touchdowns since the start of 2020. They are also scoring touchdowns on only 44 percent of NFL Red Zone drives.
Maybe it would be a perfect time for the New York Giants to fire Jason Garrett as their offensive coordinator and promote tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens to the offensive coordinator role. Kitchens was promoted to Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator in 2018 during Baker Mayfield’s rookie season with the Cleveland Browns.
This could potentially benefit quarterback Daniel Jones and the New York Giants for the long term. I don’t think it will happen, but it should happen though.
Injuries have been a major problem this year. Left tackle Andrew Thomas and running back Saquon Barkley could potentially be back after the bye week. Wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney need to get healthy during the bye week.
Thomas coming back could potentially be a big boost to this shaky offensive line. Hopefully, Matt Peart could swing to the right tackle position and Nate Solder ride the bench.
Head coach Joe Judge deserves a little credit for trusting the process. Now, he needs to get on a massive winning streak and show signs of growth and discipline. Judge has not done a great job of that this season, but we will see what happens moving forward.
Defense coordinator Patrick Graham and his defensive players have given up less than 20 points in three consecutive games. This is what the fans have been waiting for.
Xavier McKinney had two interceptions, including a 41-yard pick-six in the third quarter. Quincy Roche had a game-ending forced fumble in the red zone after Leonard Williams fell on the loose football for the New York Giants. This defense is playing with more passion and swagger. It appears as if rookies Quincy Roche and Azeez Ojulari are the primary pass rushers from now on.
Daniel Jones completed 15-of-20 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown. His lone touchdown pass of the football game was on the opening drive on a 30-yard pass to Evan Engram. Engram has caught a touchdown pass in consecutive games.
He finished with three receptions for 38 yards receiving and a touchdown. Evan Engram was the New York Giants leading receiver in this football game.
Devonte Booker rushed for 99 yards on 21 carries for New York.
The New York Giants defense had a bend but did not break mentally all game long. The only touchdown they gave up in the football game was on a Derek Carr 2-yard pass to Hunter Renfrow on Vegas’s opening drive of the football game.
This is going to be a fascinating second half of the regular season for New York. I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel for the now and for the future. The New York Giants have made it to the postseason once since 2011. They have not won a playoff game since Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots 21-17 though.
It might be false playoff hope, but it is always a good thing, I suppose to look into the distant future and potentially talk playoffs. It is up to the New York Giants to do the talking on the field and see if they mean business or not. The most realistic option is possibly 7-10 and just missing it. I would not be surprised for an 8-9 end to the season and potentially lose tiebreakers.
A 9-8 record would potentially claim the seventh and final wild-card spot in the NFC playoff picture. They have to score more points in order to make it this far or we will be having the same conversation as to why the New York Giants failed to make it to the playoffs again this year.
The New York Giants (3-6) will be on a bye next week. They will then be on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) on Monday night football on Monday, November 22nd.
The Las Vegas Raiders (5-3) next game will be at home against the Kansas City Chiefs (5-4) for potentially first place on the line in the AFC West on Sunday night football.
-Glenn Kaplan, 12oz Sports Contributor, Live Monday’s at 3 p.m. ET & Thursday at 11 a.m. ET on 12oz Sports
Photo Credit: Twitter @Giants