The New York Giants face their biggest test of the season when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Not because the Eagles are the defending champions or because of the history and rivalry between the two teams, but because of the NFC East standings and the fact that the Dallas Cowboys gave the Giants a helping hand on Thanksgiving.
Everyone in New York might hate the Cowboys, but regardless, Dallas winning is something to celebrate. By knocking off the Redskins, they pulled even in the standings and ensured that both of the top two teams in the division only have six wins each. Not that great of a record for this point in the season, and the NFC East being completely mediocre this year as a division is the reason why the Giants’ playoff hopes haven’t been all but wiped out yet.
Philadelphia isn’t exactly doing good this season and is certainly beatable on Sunday. Doing so would bring the Giants within a couple of games of first place. The Eagles are only marginally better than the Giants have been, and as the defending Super Bowl champions, their season has been more disappointing. After all, the Giants recently picked number two overall and therefore entered the season with lower expectations.
In their most recent game, the Eagles were blown out 48-7 by a much better New Orleans Saints team, where Drew Brees threw for four touchdowns. Now, that’s not to say that Eli Manning is Drew Brees. Despite both quarterbacks being veterans who seem to be near the end of their careers, Brees is having one of his best seasons while Manning is only recently coming into forum.
But that’s also not to say that Manning having a big day against the Eagles is something that should be ruled out at this point. Why is it so important that the Giants get the win here?
Well, assuming they can win, they’ll have four wins and tie the Eagles in the standings. After Dallas kept the Redskins from getting their seventh win of the season, the Giants would only be two games back from Dallas and Washington and may have a chance to close the gap further if they can beat Chicago in their next game and then keep the winning streak alive by defeating Washington after that.
Don’t get your hopes up too much. While some optimism is fine, it doesn’t help anyone to raise the expectations through the roof and then feel disappointed and angry if the Giants do lose one of the next three games and miss out on a chance to draw within one game of first place.
Still, there is a chance of that happening. For it to happen, a win on Sunday is needed, and that’s why this game is more important than any of the ones that the Giants have played earlier in this season. There’s not another 3-7 team that’s still playing meaningful games right now, more than halfway through the season. Let’s hope the Giants take advantage of being the only one.
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