There is debate about whether the Giants should view their loss to the Packers as a moral victory. But the Giants are still in the playoff hunt, and focusing on the things they did right can boost confidence, increase intensity and improve player performance, which should lead to victories against teams when it matters most. Think 2007.
Unfortunately moral victories do not register in the power rankings, with National Football Post keeping the Giants at number 16. Let’s see where else the Gmen fall.
The Giants Across the Board
The Giants deserve some credit for taking the Packers down to the final second, but there are no moral victories when you are in the thick of a playoff battle. With two of their next four games being against the Cowboys, they still have a fair chance at winning the division.
I suppose their moral victory kept the Giants from falling further here.
At 6-6, they know to win the division they will likely have to beat the Cowboys twice, starting this week in Dallas.
Dallas’ loss in Arizona was a big help for the Giants, but they still need to win both games to advance.
If the Giants played the way they played against the Packers all season they would have two to three more wins on the season. They came out with fire and passion and really got after the quarterback, now Aaron Rodgers is so good he still put up a ton of points, but their ability was evident. If you watched the Packers game and compared it to the Eagles and Saints game you wouldn’t recognize the Giants. The Giants have three games they must win: the 2 vs the Cowboys, and the one against the Redskins if they do that they will win the division regardless of what they do against the Jets.
The good news for the Giants is that the Packers are easily the best team they will face unless both clubs go deep into the playoffs. So it stands to reason that the Giants should be able to go toe to toe with each team they will face in December. They need to hold onto this mentality if they are to succeed.
For the Giants, the playoffs start on Sunday night.
This is not a dramatic statement. One loss in the next four weeks could mean the end of their season, and possibly lost jobs among coaches and players.
Some more relevant rankings via National Football Post:
Dallas Cowboys: 9 (7-5, week 14)
Last week I stated that the division is the Cowboys’ to lose. They took a step in this direction with a road loss to a mediocre Cardinals team, and now they face the Giants Sunday night in the first of two must-win games for both teams. True, the Cowboys are still in first place, so a loss this weekend would be less devastating than for the Giants, but both teams need this win, plain and simple.
Washington Redskins: 24 (4-8, week 15)
Disappointing for the Redskins to follow up on their road victory in Seattle with a home loss to the Jets. They hung in there for a significant part of the game but fell apart in the end. Their season is done, and I have to imagine Shanahan and company will be given one last chance to prove they are building a team for the future by following up on their previous aggressive offseason with smart draft choices and key trades. In the meantime, they have a win over the Giants already this season so could act as spoilers in a potential trap game.
New York Jets: 11 (7-5, week 16)
The good Jets showed up in Washington on Sunday, and historically under Rex Ryan they have rallied late in the season to make a showing in the playoffs. They face the Chiefs and Eagles before the Battle of New York, so they have a strong chance to be riding high by week 16.