The Giants’ 30-27 win over the Bears on Sunday improved the team to 4-8, one more win than last season, but it also keeps their very, very slim playoff hopes alive.
Head coach Pat Shurmur said on Monday that his goal is to get his team to 8-8 and smirked when mentioned that the Giants are not officially out of the playoff hunt.
“We’re not,” Shurmur said. “That may be tough for some of you to grasp.”
Of course, as SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano wrote last week, there are several different scenarios that need to play out in order for the Giants to get to that point.
The simplest way to put it: The Giants must go 8-8 while the rest of the division goes 7-9 and even that gets a little messy because the teams in the NFC East all must play against each other.
Let’s break it down by team:
This one is easy: Dallas must lose out in order for the Giants to have any chance at the division. They are currently 7-5 and if they win one more game they will eliminate the Giants from the division because the Giants cannot possibly finish with a better division record acting as the tie-breaker.
If the Eagles finish 2-3 they finish the season 7-9, but if they lose to the Redskins twice, Washington will hold a tie-breaker over the Giants. So the Giants need the Eagles to beat the Redskins at least once in either their Monday night matchup this week or in Week 17. The other win would also need to come against the Cowboys in Week 14, because as previously mentioned, Dallas must lose out for the Giants to have a chance.
The Giants need Washington to go 1-4 in order to finish 7-9, but that one win must come against the Eagles on either Monday night or Week 17. Two Redskins wins against the Eagles would eliminate the Giants from the division race because it would give them the tie-breaker.
Now, these are just the scenarios for the division. The wild card gets a lot more complicated and the chances are even fewer there as six teams stand between the Giants and the Redskins (6-5) and Seahawks (7-5) holding the two wild card spots.
The Vikings (6-5-1), Panthers (6-5) and Eagles (5-6), Bucs (5-7), Packers (4-7-1) and Falcons (4-8) are all in front of the Giants, making it a virtually impossibble path.