So many lead changes, big fourth quarter drives, scoring attempts in the final seconds; just another typical night when the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys face off. This time around, it was the Giants who were victorious and launched into first place in the division. And with that win came big jumps in this week’s Power Rankings.
National Football Post gave the Giants the biggest jump of the week, up from number 16 to 9. Let’s see where else the Gmen fell.
The Giants Across the Board
The Giants showed the mental toughness I thought they would need to outlast the Cowboys on Sunday night. They still have to face the ‘Boys in another head-to-head matchup in the final week of the season, but they appear to be getting healthy at the right time. QB Eli Manning is carrying this team on offense, and he deserves to be named amongst the NFL elite.
So much of the talk this week is about Eli and the way he has carried this team. It’s completely fair, and I have maintained for several weeks now that he should be considered for the league MVP. He won’t get it thanks to Aaron Rodgers and his ridiculous season, but any success this team achieves should be credited to him, and it’s really nice to see the analysts giving him the credit he deserves.
If they run the table, they win the NFC East. Through all their woes, their destiny is in their hands. Amazing.
It is amazing. And this division is theirs to lose, an enviable place for any team. After four straight losses and the messy ways in which they won early in the season, it’s easy to forget that, despite everything, they found ways to win. Whether they can continue this trend remains to be seen, but it’s nice to enjoy this moment for now.
I don’t feel confident in the Giants at all. They are here by default. Somehow, despite having one of the worst defenses in the league, despite losing four games in a row, despite trying to lose every game, they are leading the N.F.C. East. Eli Manning is a S-T-U-D. Eli Manning has now thrown for 4,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in three straight seasons a feat not accomplished by Brett Favre, or Tom Brady. Eli Manning also tied the N.F.L. record for most touchdowns in the fourth quarter in a season already. Every touchdown in the fourth Quarter the rest of the season (if there are any) will set a new record. The other positive for the Giants is DE Jason Pierre Paul who is an absolute monster.
These two guys are the main reason this team is in first place right now, not just because of Sunday night. They have really been the only two consistent forces whose playmaking abilities have changed the outcomes of games. Now more than ever, the Giants need them to stay hot.
Somehow, the Giants saved their season, and Tom Coughlin saved his job.
Well, we shall see…
Some more relevant rankings via National Football Post:
Washington Redskins: 22 (4-9, week 15)
They played well against the Patriots, but they weren’t able to finish them off. And now they head to New Jersey in the hopes of being spoilers for the Giants. You never know what will happen in a division game, so the Giants absolutely cannot take this one lightly. This week, and for the rest of the season, they cannot lose, plain and simple.
New York Jets: 11 (8-5, week 16)
Just like the Giants tend to fall apart at the end of the season, the Jets seem to get hot in December. They have won three in a row, and while these wins came against underperforming teams, they are still riding the momentum wave. They head to Philly this week, which should be an interesting game. If they think they deserve to be in the playoffs, they should show it by beating the Eagles without too much difficulty.
Dallas Cowboys: 14 (7-6, week 17)
Now the Cowboys have lost two in a row, and suddenly the team everyone thought would win the division is in trouble. Even though the Giants are in first place and possess the tie breaker, the Cowboys are definitely not out of the hunt. This has the potential to be a huge game to end the season for both teams.
Tags: CBS Sports Dallas Cowboys Eli Manning FOX SPORTS Giants, New York Giants, Popular, Featured, Justin Tuck Jason Pierre-Paul National Football Post New York Jets Nfl Mocks Pro Football Talk Washington Redskins