Things could be worse for the New York Giants. They’re not coming off a good season, but they could in a division that’s tougher to bounce back in. The NFC East was never particularly strong this season, and it showed that over the weekend when the Eagles and the Cowboys were both knocked out of the playoffs in the divisional round.
Dallas had to face the 13-3 Rams, perhaps the best team in the conference, and they put up something of a fight but just weren’t good enough to pull out a win against better competition. The Cowboys did win the NFC East, but they only did so with 10 wins. It was good enough, but not dominant by any means.
And the other NFC East team in the playoffs? That was the Eagles, who finished 9-7. Despite making it into the Wild Card round, they were only able to beat the Chicago Bears by a single point, and they lost by almost a touchdown to the New Orleans Saints.
That’s not to say that the Giants were better than either of these teams last year, because they weren’t. They only finished with five wins, and at some points, they played like a team that shouldn’t have even won that many. However, a tough division is something that can greatly hurt a rebuilding team, and the Giants don’t have to worry too much about that.
It says something about the division that the Giants were still in the playoff race at midseason, following a 1-7 start through the first eight games of the year. Of course, there’s still an entire offseason to go, and while the Giants are improving, their rivals will be working on doing the same thing. But it’s better to have the Dallas Cowboys in their current state as division rivals than it is to, say, have the Rams or the New England Patriots.
Giants fans can have a laugh about their rivals getting knocked out of the playoffs in the divisional round, but there’s a larger significance to it than just schadenfreude. After all, it helps to show that next year the Giants will be faced with a division that, unless there are major changes, is one of the more winnable ones in the league at the moment.
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