Could the Giants be the Team to Beat in the NFC?
It wasn't that long ago when the Giants entered the postseason as the 6th seed in the NFC and went on to win 3 road playoff games and defeat the mighty Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. The Giants enter this postseason with a 9-7 record, and won 2 of their final 3 games to get into the tournament.
New York began the season looking like a real contender in the NFC, winning 6 of their first 8 games. The team then lost 4 of 5 games during a brutal stretch in their schedule where they faced some of the elite teams in the NFL including, San Francisco, New England, New Orleans, and Green Bay.
Two late season victories against the Dallas Cowboys enabled the Giants to win the mediocre NFC East division. Now the real fun begins as the Giants will host Atlanta on Sunday at Metlife Stadium in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. One might ask how there is even a possibility of the Giants making a run to the Super Bowl with teams like New Orleans, San Francisco, and Green Bay to potentially face.
My reasoning is simple, New York won 2 of their 3 final games giving them confidence going into the postseason. Eli Manning is having his best season as a pro, throwing for 4,933 yards, which is 233 more yards than his brother Peyton has ever thrown for in a season. Their defensive line is playing extremely well, and they have a solid running game as well as a talented core of wide receivers.
They have proven to be rather resilient by winning at New England, and have already faced the top 3 seeds in the NFC, including taking the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers down to the wire. It is understandable that they lost to the Packers, 49ers, and Saints, but this may benefit them because it could offer a blueprint on how to defeat these potential opponents in the playoffs.
My prediction is that they will beat Atlanta on Sunday 35-21, and then go to Green Bay where they will give the Packers a competitive second round match up. Whether or not they will make another Super Bowl run is to be seen. One thing is for certain, they are in the postseason, and this is the time of year where every team elevates their game, giving each of the 12 left a legitimate chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis in February.