After most analysts were against the Giants last week, they have learned their lesson to not count this team out just yet. They proved it by almost unanimously naming the Giants winners over the division-rival Redskins. There is one holdout, but we aren’t going to worry about him.
True, a big win last week to take the division lead does set the stage for a classic trap game, but I don’t see that happening this time around. While they are in first place, they are barely clinging to this lead and they know the pressure is on. It’s do or die time, and they will head into this game as if it’s the playoffs, because as far as the Giants are concerned, it is a playoff game. One loss all but guarantees they will miss the real playoffs, essentially ending their season. If they go in playing as they have the last two weeks, there is no chance the Redskins can top them. The Giants do have a tendency to play to the level of their opponent, so the real challenge will be for them to not become too lax in the face of a down and out team.
Across the division, the Cowboys are expected to take out the Bucs. Despite their two consecutive losses and mounting injuries, I have to agree. Dallas is the kind of team you can never take too lightly, or count out prematurely. They have a funny way of hanging on, and I expect them to have an easy day in Tampa Bay. They are also probably pretty ticked off that they lost yet another home game to the Giants, and are no doubt determined to do everything in their power to show up to the Meadowlands with every opportunity to make the playoffs. That means they need to beat the Bucs.
The Jets head to Philly this weekend to take on the Eagles, who are out, but not down. As much as I dislike the Eagles you have to admire the fact that they are continuing to play as if they have something to play for. It’s true that they are not completely out of the playoff picture, so they are taking their spoiler role seriously. They plan to start with the Jets, and the experts believe they will succeed. This one is a tough call, but I have to disagree, as I think the Jets are the better team with more to play for. December is their month, they are on the brink of yet another playoff appearance, and I do not see them going down without a fight. This will be a good game, but unlike the experts I give the edge to the Jets. Bad news for the Giants, since they square off on Christmas Eve, but that too should be a close game.