If the Giants beat the Eagles on Sunday, they will beat the only team within the NFC East to win a game outside the division.
Ready or not, the NY Giants could put themselves into playoff contention with a win against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon.
A win would show just how much the Giants have improved since their Week 7 loss in Philadelphia. But, it would also show the Giants could and should beat a team outside of the NFC East.
Currently, the Eagles are the only team within the division to win a game outside the division. Impressively enough, they were able to steal a win from the NFC West, which could possibly be the toughest division in football. The Eagles won in Week 4 against the injury-riddled San Francisco 49ers.
The Eagles also managed to tie the Cincinnati Bengals, which could be a monumental non-loss in the race for the NFC East division championship, and its requisite playoff spot.
At 3-4-1, the Eagles are atop the division, (And if it needed to be said, they are the only losing team in the NFL currently in their division’s top spot). Philadelphia is 2-1 against the rest of the NFC East, 1-1 against the NFC West, and 0-2-1 against the AFC North.
According to Tankathon, the Eagles strength of schedule is .515 for their eight remaining games, which puts them 15th in the NFL. A higher strength of schedule means a team is more likely to lose their remaining games. The Eagles have five “tough” opponents left on their schedule compared to three “easy” opponents. The Giants, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Washington Football Team make up the easy opponents.
Assuming the Eagles go 3-5 for the remainder of the schedule, that puts their final record at 6-9-1, which is why there is such importance for the Giants to win this Sunday.
The Giants have the 10th hardest remaining schedule, according to Tankathon, with a .526 strength of schedule. They have one fewer game than do the Eagles, and thus only have four tough opponents vs. Philadelphia’s three easy opponents. The Eagles are also listed as one of the three easy opponents for the Giants, along with the Cowboys and the Bengals.
If the Giants go 3-4 the rest of the way, they would end the season at 5-11, but it would also bump the Eagles final record to 5-10-1. If the Giants are to make the playoffs, then, they’d most likely have to steal a win from one of their tough opponents in order to avoid tie-breakers within the NFC East.
The Giants still have two games against the NFC West, the only other division outside their own that the Eagles have a win. But it’s seeming more and more unlikely that the Giants can steal a win there. Their two remaining opponents from that division are the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals.
So the Giants would need to win two of three games within the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens are 2-0 against the NFC East, and will most likely finish 4-0 in that division. This puts the Cleveland Browns, currently considered a touch opponent for both the Giants and Eagles, as the game the Giants will need to win in order to put themselves ahead of the Eagles. If the Giants beat the Browns while the Eagles lose, then the Giants could end the season 6-10 while the Eagles finish 5-10-1.
But all this would be moot if the Giants lose on Sunday. A win would show they can beat the team that beat a team outside the NFC East, which is a good first step.